Large fire in Christchurch

A large fire on the west of Christchurch destroyed one house and badly damaged other houses. It burnt 40ha of rural land and spread more than 1km from north to south. About 100 people were evacuated from their houses.

It was a hot, windy day today with strong North West winds more than 100km per hour making the fire difficult to fight. About 50 fire fighters and some helicopters with monsoon buckets worked hard to put the fire out. It is possible the fire started with a spark from fallen power lines as the wind pushed trees onto the power lines.

Clouds of smoke rose high into the air, making the sky dark. There were also clouds of dust from dust storms, caused by the strong winds and dry conditions. Christchurch is experiencing drought conditions as there has been almost no rain for a very long time.

It was a busy day for fire fighters as they were called to other, smaller fires around Christchurch.

Many power lines are down as a result of the strong winds and about 500 people have no power.

Vocabulary

• evacuated (passive) – told to leave their homes
• monsoon buckets – collect water from lakes or the ocean and drop it on a fire
• clouds of smoke / dust– a metaphor to show the smoke (or dust) was like clouds
• drought – very dry grass because there has been no rain

Idioms

• to fight fires, put out a fire, to put a fire out
• experiencing drought conditions or dry conditions
• power lines are down

Gap fill exercise (Check the text afterwards to see if you are right.)

A large fire …………… one house and …………….. …………………….. other houses. It …………….. 40ha of rural land and ……………… more than 1km from north to south. About 100 people ………………… …………….. from their houses.

It was a hot, windy day with strong winds making the fire ………………………… to ……………….. Fire fighters and helicopters worked hard to ……………………… the ……………. ………………

Clouds of smoke ……………………. high into the air, …………………………. the sky dark. There were also dust storms, caused by the ………………………. winds and dry …………………… Christchurch is ……………………………. drought ……………………………… as there has been almost ………………. rain for a …………………….. …………………… ……………………

It was a busy day for fire fighters as they ……………………… …………………………. to other fires.
Many power lines are ……………………….. as a ………………. of the strong winds and about 500 people …………………………….. no power.






5 Comments

  1. It is very good to know we have this clearly and slowly read out News for students and teachers. The vocabulary parts are good as well.

    Thank you Pat for your enthusiasm and professionalism. Though I am now not in the ESL teaching sector, I still now a lot of migrants and students who need this. Can I forward your email to my network to let others who may need this?

    Thank you for all your effort to help students and people improve their English.

    Jim

  2. What does 40ha mean?

  3. If you listen to the podcast, you should hear the word “hectares”.

  4. The following day, February 5th, an even larger fire, in Marlborough, burnt through 500 hectares of land including a pine forest. This summer, there have been more fires than usual, probably because of the lack of rain.

  5. Hello my family member! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include approximately all
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