Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning she was "very worried" for her city.
"We've been going through what's happened overnight. There's been more evacuations - we're looking at 450 properties approximately that have been officially evacuated, with police doorknocking and the army in support as well, so it is very serious."
She said people have been reporting seeing the fire very close to their properties near the Port Hills.
"It looks as if up to seven properties have been affected by the fire. It's difficult to say until light arrives, to get a full handle on how many properties have been destroyed."
Dalziel said the blaze was a "difficult fire".
Areas affected by the fires:
"We had two separate fires, one that started in the Selwyn district, managed as a significant rural fire, then fire erupted on the city side. Ultimately, the worst fears were realised and the two fires came together yesterday.
"It is close to areas of population [and] we do have problems with people rubbernecking."
She said people need to "stay at a distance" the fires.