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New Zealand bushfire rages into the fourth day

If two earthquakes were not enough Christchurch is now going into its fourth day of fire around the city. More than 1,500 people have been evacuated from their homes, at least 11 houses have been destroyed and a state of emergency declared in New Zealand’s second-largest city

Smoke and ash from the fire have been blown across the city.

Fifteen helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, the maximum number that can safely be in the air at any one time, along with 200 firefighters, have been despatched amid forecasts for winds that could fan the flames.

New Zealand’s military has been deployed to provide water tankers and engineering equipment as well as firefighters and other personnel.

A helicopter pilot died in a crash on Tuesday while fighting the blaze.

The pilot, Corporal Askin, was a member of the elite Special Air Service and he won the Gallantry Star medal in 2014

Images courtesy of Michale Blaxall and Hayley Stewart

Image 1 taken by Michale Blaxall

Images 2 and 3 taken by Hayley Stewart

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Asia Pacific Fire, Editor