Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Fire and Emergency New Zealand
A media briefing will be held this afternoon in Twizel in relation to the fire at Lake Pukaki.
The briefing will be held at midday today (31 August) at the Twizel Event Centre.
Media will be given the opportunity to speak to a member of Fire and Emergency’s incident management team.
The fire has been burning for more than a day.
Yesterday around 2,500 hectares of forestry and scrub on both sides of State Highway 80 were burnt through, with a perimeter of approximately 23 kilometres. The fire has spread to the west overnight and a flyover was completed of the fire scene to assess the situation.
Strong nor-wester winds continue to hamper attempts to contain the fire and wind speeds are forecast to increase over the course of this morning.
One property at Pukaki Downs was lost yesterday to the fire. Crews working overnight have been able to protect other properties and structures from damage. Minor injuries were sustained by two bystanders during attempts to put out the fire when it first started, but no further injuries have been reported.
State Highway 8 remains closed due to significant amounts of smoke blowing across the highway. The fire is expected to remain on the western side of SH8 and there is no current or expected threat to the Twizel township or Mount Cook Village.
Rotary and fixed wing firefighting resources have been deployed and a no flying notice (NOTAM) has been issued to limit activity at Twizel Airport to firefighting operations only. We currently have 17 helicopters, two fixed wing aircraft, five heavy diggers and two forestry crews supporting 140 people on the ground.
An incident Management Team comprising approximately 25 personnel was established in Twizel yesterday, led by Fire and Emergency New Zealand and supported by personnel from Mackenzie District Council and the Department of Conservation.
There is no current threat to Twizel township (other than possible smoke nuisance) or Mount Cook village. Around 200 day visitors and campers were escorted out of the area yesterday and further escorted convoys will help people leave the area today.
Fire and Emergency is people to stay away from the area.
We expect to provide a further update at 3pm.