Firefighters dampen Mt Crichton hotspots, watch wind forecast

by Kim Bowden - Oct 10, 2022

Firefighters are back at the site of a fire on the outskirts of Queenstown that blazed uncontrolled this weekend.

The crews are using thermal imaging technology to tackle hotspots at the Mt Crieghton site.

In a statement this morning Fire and Emergency incident controller Mark Mawhinney says the situation was stable overnight, with calm conditions and cool temperatures.

But those in charge will be keeping a close eye on developing weather conditions throughout the day.

There is a window of favourable weather this morning before winds are forecast to strengthen this afternoon, when gusts of 120 kilometres an hour are possible, he says.

"In those conditions, all firefighters would be withdrawn from the fire-ground and aerial operations will stop." 

For now, crew are on the ground, where thermal imaging is underway to help identify remaining hotspots that will be tackled by the specialist vegetation crews using hand-held firefighting equipment.

"Two helicopters are on standby to carry out targeted water-bombing in support of the ground crews."

Between 10 to 15 millimetres of rain is also expected today.

The area affected by fire remains at 230 hectares within a 13-kilometere perimeter.

Most of the damage is restricted to land that is part of Mt Crichton station, although a small area of adjacent Department of Conservation estate is also affected.

The fire did not reach any buildings or farm structures other than fences over the weekend, burning mainly through Manuka and tussock grassland.

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