At least eight homes have been destroyed in out-of-control fires threatening Christchurch.
At least three houses are known to have fallen victim to the blaze in the Worsley Spur area, on top of three destroyed Hoon Hay Valley Rd and one on Old Tai Tapu Rd on Wednesday, along with one on Early Valley Rd overnight Monday.
An earlier police estimate that as many as 40 homes had “been lost” to the flames has been drastically revised.
More homes in Christchurch’s Port Hills were being evacuated from 5am on Thursday as the massive wildfires continued to rage. Civil Defence said the two fires that started on Monday had merged into one and covered about 1850 hectares.
Civil Defence said police were evacuating residents downhill of the Sign of the Takahe on Dyers Pass Rd as far down as, and including, Kiteroa Place and Pentre Tce.
Affected residents would be contacted directly by police, who were knocking on doors.
Those who felt unsafe were advised to self-evacuate.
Police were concerned about traffic and people in the area and asked all non-residents to stay away to keep the roads clear for emergency services.
Cordons were set up along Cashmere Rd after midnight, restricting access to most streets running…
This story will be updated as new information becomes available: