"Rubberneckers" are not welcome on the Port Hills as cordons remain in place for the general public nearly two weeks on.

The fires which eventually raged 2000ha of Christchurch, prompting about 450 houses to be evacuated, were still smouldering after being brought under control this week.

Residents have been allowed to return to their homes as firefighting operations continue monitoring the area until they're confident the fire is fully extinguished.

The Port Hills are still an active fire zone.

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While cordons at Worsleys Road, Kennedys Bush Road, Hoon Hay Valley Road and Dyers Pass Road have been relaxed, this was for residents only.

We're appealing to the public to resist the temptation to come up for a look. Residents in these areas do not want rubberneckers, this includes mountain bikers and runners," said Civil Defence Controller Malcolm Johnston.

"There is also a significant safety issue, it is simply not safe for the general public to enter."

The fire began as two blazes on the afternoon of February 13: the first one in Lansdowne on Early Valley Rd, and a second one that started in a car park near Marleys Hill, off Summit Rd.

Two days later, they had combined into one large inferno and a state of emergency was declared.

Nine homes were destroyed and two were badly damaged as the fire spread across the area.

ROTORUA DAILY POST
23 Feb, 2017 5:02pm
3 minutes to read

Helicopter pilot and former SAS war hero Steve Askin died a day after the fires started while helping with efforts to put them out.

He was farewelled in Christchurch on Monday.