There can be little doubt about the seriousness of wildfires that have roared across Christchurch's Port HIlls since Monday, destroying 11 homes and scorching more than 2000ha.

But if there's any doubt, this timelapse video shot by freelance photographer Dru Norriss on Wednesday will clear it.

The 1m 38s video is a snapshot of the fire's power, showing its increasing ferocity as it moves towards Norriss' vantage point at the end of Bengal Drive in the suburb of Cashmere.

UPDATE: View in 4K here (Make sure you hit HD!) First of a few very dramatic time-lapses of #porthillsfire taken yesterday afternoon from the end of Bengal Drive, Cashmere. You can really see things take off as the wind changes. More to come after they render! Jeremy Black Radio New Zealand Newshub 1 NEWS Chris Lynch

Posted by Dru Norriss on Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Norriss, a musician and wedding photographer, lives nearby and decided on a whim to make a timelapse video.


"It's not something I've done a lot of and the fact that people have found it striking is quite humbling."

The sequence was shot over an hour and 22 minutes, starting just before 1pm and finishing just after 2pm. It was developed from 2456 exposures.

A second timelapse video of the fire, taken after sundown and into the night, and which he believes is even more striking, is also now online.

The timelapse video was shot from a vantage point at Bengal Dr, in Cashmere. Photo / Google Earth
The timelapse video was shot from a vantage point at Bengal Dr, in Cashmere. Photo / Google Earth

But it was also tinged with the realisation he was filming others' loss.

"I've got friends [whose] parents have lost their house up there and I imagine in the second video I've done it's in there somewhere."

However, the footage would also ensure people - especially those outside Christchurch - understood the magnitude of the disaster.

"It's really humbling to know that I will help people make a bit more sense of it."