Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Fire and Emergency New Zealand
This will be the last update for tonight. We will issue the next update by 7am
Fire fighting has continued at Lake Ohau today in challenging conditions, with strong winds and warm temperatures.
Fire and Emergency Incident Controller Rob Hands said that the task was progressing well. A drone equipped with an infrared camera would be deployed tonight to look for hotspots along the perimeter of the fire.
Structure protection crews would be working through the night to deal with any flare-ups that might threaten properties that had escaped damage yesterday. Helicopters and ground crews will be back on the ground at first light.
Mr Hands said Fire and Emergency personnel were working closely with the Waitaki District Council’s welfare team to make sure that residents were well supported as they came to terms with what in many cases was a devastating loss.
Crews are working to reduce the hazards around undamaged properties, including fire-damaged trees, loose iron and debris. That work will need to be completed before residents can be given unrestricted access.
Today residents were able to visit the Lake Ohau Alpine Village on three buses. Residents who need to retrieve essential items from undamaged properties within the fire cordons can register to be escorted to and from their homes from tomorrow.
The managed access will be for urgent essential purposes, such as tradespeople retrieving tools or people needing medication.
The access will be available between 10am and 2pm provided conditions are safe for entry, Mr Hands said. Residents will be transported in and out in a Fire and Emergency vehicle.
“We appreciate how anxious people are to return home, or to retrieve personal possessions. We are providing escorted access as an interim step.”
Registrations for managed access are being coordinated by the Waitaki District Council’s welfare team.
Investigators looking into the cause of the fire have asked for help from the public.
They would like to hear from those who observed the fire in the early hours of Sunday morning, up until 7am.