Public warned against exploring fire-ravaged and volatile Port Hills

The Port Hills fire and surrounding zones remains off limits to everyone. Photo / Chelsea Daniels
The Port Hills fire and surrounding zones remains off limits to everyone. Photo / Chelsea Daniels

Civil Defence is reminding the public that the Port Hills fire and surrounding zones are off limits to everyone, including recreational users.

The reminder comes after people have tried to enter the fire-ravaged area to explore on bikes and on foot.

"Not only are they putting themselves at risk, but they [are] taking the focus away from first responders who are still dealing with fire suppression activities," Civil Defence said in a statement.

"The wider area needs to remain clear because if there is a wind change, the fire can quickly spread. Firefighters need to respond quickly and do not want to waste valuable time evacuating members of the public."

There was good and bad news for Port Hills residents today as some cordons were moved back, while others were denied temporary access.

Three cordons were moved back, allowing some Port Hills residents to return to their homes however no temporary access behind the cordon was possible as secure buffer between the fire zone and local's houses had not been completed.

Civil Defence controller David Adamson said there were now fewer than 150 properties remaining inside cordons, which are still in place in Kennedys Bush Rd, Hoon Hay Valley Rd, Worsleys Rd and Dyers Pass Rd, Summit Rd at Gebbies Pass, and a new one on Victoria Park Rd.

In a statement, Civil Defence said it is working hard to allow residents temporary access tomorrow.

"We aim to get an update on the potential timing for this access is to you by 8am tomorrow."

Residents not yet able to return home have been asked to register with Civil Defence to gain access to their property so they can collect essential items and check on pets.

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