Timelapse captures terror and beauty of devastating Port Hills fire

Flames from wild fires on the Port Hills in Christchurch illuminate the night sky

He was filming between 8.30pm and 10.30pm.

Since Monday, the NZDF has dispatched more than 60 personnel, including about 20 experienced firefighters, and state-of-the-art firefighting equipment to help battle bush fires in Canterbury and Hawke's Bay.

English estimated that it might take up to a week before the fire was fully put out by firefighters working at the disaster site.

Approximately 200 to 300 residents have since been affected by the evacuations, while tens of thousands of Christchurch homes suffered a power loss in the afternoon with the possibility of more power outages until the fires have been extinguished.

"The situation remains very serious".

"We're really struggling at the moment without the helicopters it's too risky at night for those, we are trying to do any structure protection we can but that's got to be balanced between lives", Selwyn Principal Rural Fire Office Douglas Marshall said.

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450 properties have officially been evacuated as a result of the Port Hills Fire and emergency response agencies are meeting this morning to discuss the status of the fire. The estimated area of the fire is now in excess of 1850ha and still growing.

View of the Port Hills fire, south of Christchurch, from Westmorland on Wednesday evening. It has also spread to within close proximity of the dense residential housing of Westmorland.

At least three additional houses have been destroyed in the area of Worsleys Road.

Residents were being moved out from Worsley Road, Cracroft, the bottom of Hoon Hay Valley Road and the Westmorland area, and being dirrected to various welfare centres. More than 130 firefighters and the military have gone into action to combat the flames.

Hundreds of other residents have chosen to self-evacuate.