No charges over devastating scrub fire

Helicopters fight fires in the Prebbleton area of Canterbury near Christchurch last week. Photo / Supplied
Helicopters fight fires in the Prebbleton area of Canterbury near Christchurch last week. Photo / Supplied

Police have finally concluded their investigations into a massive Canterbury scrub fire that destroyed homes and killed 18,000 laying hens.

No criminal charges will be laid over the January 10 blaze that ripped through 70 hectares of tinder-dry farmland, fanned by strong nor'west winds.

Several households were evacuated, along with dozens of horses and other livestock.

Police say no individual will be held to account.

Detective senior sergeant Craig Farrant says there is "at this time'' insufficient evidence to bring a criminal prosecution for arson.

"Police acknowledge that the fire caused extensive damage and significantly affected a number of properties, individuals and businesses,'' he said.

"We have carried out extensive enquiries into the incident and have interviewed the owners of the property where the fire broke out as well as multiple other witnesses and agencies.''

All affected parties, including insurance companies, have been advised of the outcome of the investigation, he said.

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