Hundreds evacuated as bushfire rages in New Zealand city of Christchurch

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The blaze, which first * a href="https://newswire.storyful.com/storylines/*/stories/157528&q=christchurch" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" *broke out on February 13, has destroyed homes and prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people, and a pilot died when his helicopter crashed during a fire extinguishing operation on Tuesday, The Telegraph reported. He was filming between 8.30pm and 10.30pm.

"Our people had contained the fire and were told to go back to the station and as soon as they did that the fire got away again".

The military were called in to help battle the blaze in the city's southern Port Hills district.

Christchurch Civil Defence Controller David Adamson says "the fire now spans a large front and all agencies are coordinating very well to fight the blaze and support the community".

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Fellers says people he spoke to on Summit Rd on Monday evening agreed the location of the fire was "a unusual place for a fire to start".

A state of emergency has been declared in Christchurch and the neighbouring area of Selwyn.

Approximately 400 households have been evacuated in the areas around Victoria Park/Dyers Pass Road, Worsleys Road, Westmorland and Kennedys Bush.

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said the cause "looks a bit suspicious".

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Fire and smoke also cut power to more than 89,000 homes.

The hills surrounding Early Valley Road on the Port Hills are left with the scars of a fire that raged for four days and nights.

Civil Defence said it had confirmed 11 homes had been razed but added the situation was constantly changing. On social media, local residents have begun helping the people evacuated by offering them a place to stay. The fires are now said to be covering more than 4,000 acres in the south of the city.

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