Wednesday, 17 January 2018

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Eleven houses destroyed by the fire The blaze has been contained within a 2075 hectare area Cashmere Primary School and Cashmere Kindergarten remain closed on Friday Light rain in the early morning and more forecast for the day Firefighters are focused on Worsleys and Hoon Hay Rds, protecting the Westmorland area Firefighters will know more about Friday's efforts once they survey the damage from a helicopter at first light Cleaning up will go on for several days, Civil Defence says The Government has confirmed plans to formally review Civil Defence's handling of the fires More than $110k has been fundraised for the family of killed helicopter pilot Steve Askin. Light rain has fallen in Christchurch overnight, boosting firefighters' efforts to control the massive Port Hills fire which has destroyed houses and spread over more than 2000ha. "It's been a really good night. We had some light rain, it felt like Christmas," Fire Service southern communications shift manager Riwai Grace said on Friday morning. "It wasn't much but still, it's a lovely feeling. "To be honest I don't think it's gone far during the night, but we won't know until the helicopters have gone up," Mr Grace said. Fifteen crew from the US Coastguard icebreaker Polar Star will on Friday be helping Defence Force and police in the evacuation area and helicopters are expected to resume flying shortly. The MetService is forecasting occasional drizzle for Friday with maybe 2.6mm falling, along with cooler temperatures and higher humidity. Christchurch Civil Defence says the clean-up of the fire area would go on for several more days. Controller Dave Adamson says nearly 400 firefighters worked on the fire during Thursday, some using heavy machinery to create fire breaks. The total number of properties affected won't be known until the emergency has ended.

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