Fire continues

While fire fighters thought that the fire on Christchurch’s Port Hills was ‘contained’ over night, in fact it spread in the early morning. A slight wind was all it needed and in many places, the fire flared up again. Over 1,000 people have been evacuated from 400 homes. Often they were only given 5 minutes to grab some belongings and leave. Many of these people spent a nervous night watching through binoculars to see if the fire was moving towards their home.

Now we know that 11 homes have burnt down and 2 sheds. Many of the people evacuated had animals on a small farm and these people are anxious to see if their animals have survived but they are not allowed in that area.

A huge area of land has been burnt, leaving scorched earth. Trees have gone. This area is about 2,000 hectares.

Christchurch mayor, Lianne Dalziel, said that everything possible was being done. There are 330 fire fighters, 14 helicopters and 3 planes.

Heavy rain is needed now. Ironically most of the North Island is experiencing very heavy rain but in Christchurch the forecast is for sunshine again tomorrow.


• contained – staying in a small area without moving outside that, like being inside a box or other container
• slight – very small
• flare up – flames start again
• belongings – possessions, your things
• binoculars – like a telescope but for both eyes
• scorched – black from being burnt
• ironically – almost like a joke; there is plenty of rain but the area that needs it, doesn’t get it


If you were given 5 minutes to grab your things from your house, what would you take?

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