Severe Weather Response
I want to acknowledge everyone for their hard work this week, following an extraordinary run of weather.
After significant fires in Otago / Southland earlier this week, the whole country subsequently endured a drenching that saw us respond to over 228 weather-related incidents, 210 of which were in the South Island, and included fallen trees on houses, cars and roads causing closures or power outages.
We also attended over 260 other incidents, including structure and vegetation fires, medical emergencies, and motor vehicle accidents. Crews assisted Police and Civil Defence with evacuations in areas with significant flooding such as New Plymouth, Nelson, Greymouth, as well as Buller and Dunedin where states of emergency have been declared.
At the same time we had multiple fires in Canterbury, including a vegetation fire in West Melton in Canterbury that burnt 10 hectares and required the precautionary evacuation of 10 houses, a fire in a pine tree plantation 500 metres above Governors Bay Rd, near Cass Bay, and several smaller fires in the Selwyn area, after power lines fell in hot, dry and windy conditions. All were quickly contained thanks to the rapid response and coordination of our people and emergency service partners.
This demonstrates the difference Fire and Emergency is already making in terms of our ability to pull many different functions together into one cohesive team - so well done to everyone involved in the response, coordination, and advance preparation that contributed to the successful resolution of these incidents.