the story so far
Follow all the latest developments below:
Photo taken by John Foster shows the blaze rapidly approaching the Sugarloaf transmission tower as darkness falls at Port Hills above Christchurch.
Source: John Foster
Members of the public are advised to stay away from the yellow line.
Source: 1 NEWS
3.00am: Southern Fire Communications say they've attended two spot fires near Dyers Pass since midnight but neither were serious. Additionally there are plenty of authorities still monitoring the hills this morning.
12.00am: Three rural fire crews with 15 staff and three New Zealand Fire Service crews with three tankers and 21 staff will monitor this situation in Christchurch overnight.
Thursday updates below
8.30pm: Civil Defence advise members of the public to stay out of the restricted area marked by a yellow line due to high fire risk. The boundary will be updated live on the map here.
7.30pm: Police and Defence Force staff will patrol the cordon areas during the night to keep evacuated properties safe.
6.56pm: Police have given residents with addresses inside the cordon specific access to enter and exit the cordon points on necessity. Residents must have photo ID and documentation proving their occupancy such as electrical bills.
6.13pm: Fire Investigation Services say there are no obvious causes of fire at this point after two days of gathering evidence.
6.00pm: "It's amazing how much area has been whacked and it's pretty sad when you see some houses that have been nailed," former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw told NZME. He is the owner and director of the Christchurch Helicopters company, and has been ferrying fire chiefs and officials around and above the fire all week.