Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Pukaki Downs and Tekapo vegetation fires update #7

Pukaki Downs and Tekapo vegetation fires update #7

State Highway 80 from Pukaki to Mount Cook has been reopened this morning.

The road had been closed since Wednesday night while firefighters fought the large vegetation fire at Pukaki Downs.

The weather front which has come through the area overnight has assisted in dampening down and containing the fire to the point where the road is now safe for the public to travel on.

Incident Controller Stephen Butler says people must still exercise caution when travelling.

"Please drive with care. Residents are able to return, but need to maintain situational awareness.

"There will still be firefighting activity in the area including ground crews, heavy machinery and helicopters assessing the fire."

Firefighting operations will continue today. Ground crews and heavy machinery will be operating where they are able. 10.4mm of rain fell at Pukaki and 42mm at Glenntanner. This has helped fight the fire but has also hindered ground operations due to the ground conditions. Helicopters will be operating when weather permits.

The other vegetation fire near Tekapo had a flare up around 1am on Friday, but this was contained and will be assessed further this morning.