Fire burning near Hanmer Springs causes traffic chaos

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Emergency . . . Emergency services are fighting a huge fire near Hanmer Springs which is causing traffic chaos. Photos: Judith Harrington

 

By Robyn Bristow

A scrub fire burning near Hanmer Springs turn off on State Highway 7 has closed roads and brought traffic travelling to the West Coast, via Lewis Pass, to a halt.

Eight helicopters and fire service personel were still fighting the fire, which had jumped the highway, late afternoon.

There were big queues at every major intersection with one at the Red Post stretching back to near Culverden as emergency services rushed to control the fire that broke out at just after mid day on Wednesday.

Police are warning people to avoid the following areas as a number of road closures and cordons are in place due to the scrub fire burning near the Hanmer Springs turn off on State Highway 7.

-SH7 (The Lewis Pass Road) is closed between Springs Junction and Culverden

-A cordon is in place on SH7 at Rotherham Rd South

-A cordon is in place on SH7 at Flintoff – Mouse Point Rd

-A cordon is in place at the intersection of SH7 and SH7A (Hanmer turnoff)

-A cordon is in place at the intersection of Leslie St and River Rd (Waiau)

These cordons are in place to keep people safe and ensure the people and helicopters fighting the blaze can do so without obstruction.

Please follow the instructions of Police and other emergency staff if you are in these areas and avoid travelling into the wider region if at all possible.

NZTA are updating all of the road closures and people can check the traffic information map on their website or their Twitter page for information.