Civil Defence


Current Status:

There are no Civil Defence Events at this time                   

Lewis Pass Fires - update: 3 March 6.00pm

An Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) has been activated and the Hurunui District Council and is monitoring the situation. 

• A thermal imaging drone has identified over 1,000 hot spots this morning. The hot spots are still flaming but these are being methodically exposed and extinguished.
• The fires are 100% contained and more than 80% controlled.
• Currently onsite are 10 ground crews, 14 fire appliances and three pieces of heavy machinery. There are also three helicopters and an air controller on stand-by.

Fire crews are currently experiencing variable northwest winds of fluctuating strength. Both winds releative humidity and temparture were less than forecasted to date. A southeast change is expected overnight that may stress previously untested parts of the perimeter. Fire is expected to remain fully contained and 90% controlled. Potential still remains and for fire break out depending upon weather – this is expected to be a low probability. No precipitation is expected for the next few days with mixed wind flows, then a building nor’wester possible again toward the 8th. Fire behaviour modelling indicates the probability is low, but should a break out occur, significant damage could still occur over the next few days on both sides of SH7 leading towards to the Hanmer Turnoff and northern flanks of the Culverden Range.


CDHB Health Advice

Smoke may irritate the eyes, nose, throat and airways. Symptoms can include runny or sore eyes, dry or sore throat, sore nose, cough, tightness of the chest or difficulty breathing.

In the event that strong winds occur and persist, ash may become airborne and aggravate those with respiratory health issues. Ash may also accumulate on roofs and water tanks that may be used for drinking water. Please ensure that these are cleaned before using these sources for drinking. Wash all vegetables and fruit that may become covered in ash. Wet wipe surfaces and use a HEPA filter vacuum to remove particles. The small particles in smoke are more harmful than the larger particles because they can be inhaled deep into the lungs.

Avoid exposure where possible by staying indoors and closing windows and doors. Smokers, the elderly, children and those with heart disease, asthma or other lung disease are at greatest risk of harm from smoke inhalation.

In healthy people, most symptoms disappear soon after exposure to smoke ends and do not cause long-term health problems. Make your GP team your first call 24/7 for #carearoundtheclock. In an emergency phone 111. For all other health care needs make your usual general practice team your first call – after hours, and when they’re closed, a team or nurses is ready to take your call. They can tell you what to do and where to go if you need to be seen urgently.

Seek medical help if your symptoms worsen, especially if you have asthma, lung or heart disease, or if you start to experience breathlessness or chest pain. If you did not experience any symptoms at the time you were exposed to the smoke, you are very unlikely to have any long-term health effects.

If you are feeling stressed - It can be normal to experience distress and anxiety during adverse events such as wild fires. Talking about how you feel to someone you trust can help and some online tips can be found at

The Canterbury Support Line is still available - 0800 777 846
General practices are open for those who feel unwell or unable to cope.

Or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777.

Travel in the area

State Highway 7 (Lewis Pass) is OPEN. 30 km speed restrictions are in place in the affected area. Please give way to crews working in the area and understand that if conditions change the road may have to close again.



Post November 2016 Earthquake Status - we are now in recovery phase.

Links to further information 

Report an Issue

 Useful Websites

 Helpful Resources for Hurunui Communities and Businesses

Community Law Canterbury is able to provide free legal help to people who have questions as a result of the earthquake last night. If you have questions about what happens if your work is closed, tenancy when your house has been damaged or insurance over your property please feel free to contact us on 0508 CANLAW (0508 226529)


Asbestos is a health hazard to you and your family if you inhale the very fine fibres that can be created when you damage or disturb materials that contain asbestos. If you, or any contractors you use, don’t plan work carefully and take appropriate precautions, you may spread contamination.
Asbestos waste must only be disposed of at an approved local authority refuse site. Incorrect disposal of asbestos waste is prohibited and can result in a fine or prosecution
Asbestos must be transported and delivered in a safe and secure manner. Asbestos Aware strongly advises you to use experienced asbestos removal companies to undertake the removal, transportation and disposal of asbestos from your home. 

Call for cash not goods for quake affected regions.

Civil Defence Emergency Management Group (CDEM) are asking people to NOT donate goods at this stage, instead donate to one of the relief funds set up such as the Hurunui District Mayoral Fund or the Red Cross Appeal.

Hurunui Mayoral Fund – consider donating to Our Mayor Welfare Fund instead. Donations will support those affected by the 7.8 quake.

Donations can be made at any service centre/library in the Hurunui District or can be e-deposited into the bank account 03-0802-0946666-00. If you are making an electronic donation please use the reference EQ FUND.

Notice to all dam owners

Dams and water storage ponds may have been damaged as a result of the recent earthquakes.

Dam owners are responsible for ensuring that their dams are safe. It is recommended that all dam owners carry out an inspection of their respective dams for any damage that may have resulted from the recent earthquakes.

Should damage be identified if may be necessary to engage a recognised engineer to carry out further checks before making repairs. Repairs to large dams may require a building consent before work can be carried out.
Engineers / Consultants may be available from these firms to carry out onsite inspections: Tonkin & Taylor 03 363 2440; Riley Consultants 03 379 4402; MWH 03 343 8786; Coffey Consultants 03 374 9600; Golder Associates 03 377 5696.

For general information / advice please contact the Kevin Bell, BCA Coordinator, Environment Canterbury on 027 226 2984.