Over 1,000 Evac­u­ated in New Zealand Wild­fire

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Welling­ton: A wild­fire has de­stroyed at least 11 homes and forced the evac­u­a­tion of more than 1,000 peo­ple in New Zealand’s Christchurch city, au­thor­i­ties said on Thurs­day. Around 450 homes were of­fi­cially evac­u­ated on Thurs­day morn­ing. A state of emer­gency was de­clared in the South Is­land city and neigh­bour­ing Sel­wyn district as two blazes that had been smoul­der­ing for days merged into a sin­gle gi­ant fire-front, the New Zealand Her­ald daily re­ported. The emer­gency claimed the life of a dec­o­rated army pi­lot, David Steven Askin, who was killed on Tues­day when his he­li­copter crashed while tack­ling the blaze. John Mackie, the civil de­fence con­troller for Christchurch, said about 130 fire­fight­ers on the ground, as­sisted by more than a dozen he­li­copters, had stopped the fire from en­croach­ing fur­ther into the city. IANS

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