On Friday evening Emma Beattie left her home in the rural North Canterbury suburb of Fernside.

She hasn't been seen since.

It was 11pm when the 20-year-old left her property, believed to be on foot. Desperate family and friends are yet to hear from Beattie, who a close friend describes as, "the kindest and brightest soul I have ever met".

They just want her home safe.

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The circumstances surrounding the disappearance are unknown, but police have suggested she may have been in the Ashley River area the following day.

As temperatures in North Canterbury soared towards 30C in recent days, police have launched extensive LandSAR searches for Beattie, focusing on areas including the Ashley River area and Hillcrest Rd in Fernside.

It's mainly rural land with a river running through it, though water levels are low following the dry conditions.

The heat has meant tough conditions for searchers scouring the countryside for Beattie, with reinforcements being brought in to swap out with exhausted officers and volunteers.

A close relative of Beattie's told the Herald the family was not ready to speak.

Police have refused interview requests as they focus on finding the missing woman.

But Sergeant Phil Simmonds said in a statement that eight teams, including LandSAR volunteers and police officers, were currently searching the Ashley River area.

A total of 45 people were involved in search efforts, with 32 people searching for Beattie in the field.

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"Teams are focusing on buildings, properties and hedgerows in the area," Simmonds said.

A Search and Rescue dog team and helicopter crews were also involved.

Neighbours and residents in the Fernside area have reported police searching outside buildings on their properties and helicopters flying over at regular intervals.

Police have said they were concerned for Beattie's wellbeing and would like to hear from anyone who had heard from her or seen her since Friday.

Beattie has long blonde hair, and is believed to be wearing orange and black Nike shoes. She may also be carrying a small brown drawstring rucksack with cream-coloured rope straps.

Police have launched extensive LandSAR searches for Emma Beattie, focusing on areas including the Ashley River area and Hillcrest Rd in Fernside. Photo / Supplied
Police have launched extensive LandSAR searches for Emma Beattie, focusing on areas including the Ashley River area and Hillcrest Rd in Fernside. Photo / Supplied

Dozens of concerned people have taken to social media to spread the word of Beattie's disappearance, wish her a safe return home and send their love to the family.

A friend of Beattie's said she was "the kindest and brightest soul I have ever met" and that her family and friends "desperately want her home".

Fernside School principal David Taylor said Beattie did not attend the school but she was a member of the wider Fernside Community.

"As a community we are all anxious for the wellbeing of Emma," he said.

"We hope the search is successful for all concerned."

Rangiora-Ashley Community Board chair Jim Gerard declined to comment but said everyone was hoping for a successful ending.

Mayor of Waimakariri David Ayers said the investigation was in the hands of the police but he hoped for the best outcome.

"Obviously it is worrying for the family."

He said Beattie's disappearance was the second missing person's case the district had endured this year.

Melissa Dalgety, 34, from Rangiora went missing on July 20 and is yet to be found.

Information on the whereabouts of Emma Beattie can be passed on to Christchurch Police on 03 363 7400 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, and quote the file number 171202/9451.