Civil Defence and Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has asked the Defence Force to provide support to local authorities in Christchurch as they deal with the Port Hills fires.

Logistics personnel and equipment will be sent from Burnham Military Camp, on the outskirts of Christchurch, along with engineering equipment, water tankers and manpower options to support cordons and firebreaks, Brownlee said.

Defence Force firefighters will also be used, with six firefighters and two appliances already helping at the Early Valley Rd fire since yesterday, Brownlee said.

"The Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has offered its assistance to both Selwyn District Council and Christchurch City Council but at this time the councils have not declared a state of local emergency.

"At the moment the response to the blazes is being co-ordinated by Rural Fire, not CDEM, out of the Selwyn District Council."


The Defence Force sent a liaison officer to work alongside the Selwyn Rural Fire Authority this afternoon. The officer would also provide timely advice to Defence Force personnel on what further support they could provide, Brownlee said.