Port Hills wildfires: Adventure park damaged

The upper part of the brand-new Christchurch Adventure Park has been destroyed in the Port Hills wildfire. Photo / Supplied
The upper part of the brand-new Christchurch Adventure Park has been destroyed in the Port Hills wildfire. Photo / Supplied

An adventure park in the path of the destructive Port Hills wildfire has been damaged by fire but key buildings and its chairlift remain unscathed.

Operators of Christchurch's Adventure Park are nervously waiting for the firestorm to abate after the top of the hillside property could not be saved when one of two wildfires was fanned to life by an overnight wind change.

More than 120 firefighters and up to 15 helicopters are battling two devastating blazes on the hills overlooking Christchurch.

One fire is burning out of control and threatening homes in the harbour settlement of Governors Bay. The fire-front is just a few kilometres from the township.

Christchurch City Council has activated its emergency management centre and more than 100 people have been evacuated from their homes.

A relief centre has been set up at the Governors Bay Primary School.

Governors Bay Civil Defence says the Fire Service has invited the local community to a public meeting at the fire station at 7.30pm tonight.

"The purpose of this meeting is to inform the community of activities and tactics planned to deal with the current fire above Governors Bay," Willems said.

Christchurch Adventure Park spokeswoman Anne Newman said the fire moved into the park's grounds last night but it was too early to say the extent of the damage. At this stage it appeared limited to trees at the top.

So far the flames had not come down the valley to the village where it could cause the most damage.

"The infrastructure is okay but the fire is now within the park," Newman said.

"The fire is around the top part of the liftline and the top station."

As a safety precaution the 1.8km chairlift had been kept running to prevent the cable from perishing from the heat.

"We've kept the chairlift running because it moves the cable around and stops any one point being compromised."

Helicopters with monsoon buckets and firefighters were today doing their best to protect the brand-new attraction and dampen down flare-ups, she said.

They were now waiting for clearance to go up the 430-metre hillside where the fire had entered the park to determine the destruction.

In the meantime the adventure park would remain closed for at least another day.

The park opened just two months ago and boasts the country's longest chairlift.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 25 May 2017 11:55:24 Processing Time: 657ms