Authorities with Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) confirmed on Monday, October 5, that at least 60 homes were destroyed in the small community of Lake Ohau (Canterbury region) as a fast-moving wildfire spread through the community early Sunday morning. No one was reportedly injured as a result of the blaze, which as of Monday has consumed more than 11,367 acres (4,600 hectares) of land in the region. FENZ has dispatched 11 helicopters and eight fire crews to attempt to control the spread of the fire, which is being spread rapidly by high winds.
Further spread of the fires is possible in the near term. An emergency response presence and localized transportation disruptions, namely road closures, should be anticipated in the affected areas.
Those in the vicinity of the fire are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the area, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities, including evacuation orders.