Feb 2024

New Zealand 2024 wildfire

Satellite 3D view of Port Hills, New Zealand.

On the afternoon of February 14, 2024, Fire and Emergency New Zealand was alerted of a fire at Port Hills in Christchurch. In a few days, the wildfire took on very significant proportions and ravaged 700 hectares of crops and forests in the Canterbury region. The causes of the fire are unknown, but, with the help of our satellite images, we can clearly see the impact it had on the Christchurch area. 

Thanks to the intervention of the firefighting and emergency services body, the fire was quickly contained and completely extinguished on March 6, 2024.

Christchurch’s wildfire history

This event took place 7 years to the day after the wildfires of February 13, 2017 which surrounded the town of Port Hills for 2 months. That year more than 2,076 hectares of land had been burned.

Following these fires, the city council of Christchurch decided to identify the errors made by the authorities in the management of this disaster and to list the lessons they were able to learn from them. This initiative helped the authorities respond to the February 2024 wildfire much more efficiently and quickly control the fire and minimize the damage.

Higher fire risk in New Zealand

Over the period 2023-2024, New Zealand has already recorded more than 2,700 fires over more than 4,000 hectares. Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the territory’s emergency service, explains that the country is facing worsening conditions: extreme droughts, strong winds, hot and dry temperatures…

New Zealand and Australia are prone to this type of disaster due to their meteorological context, in addition to earthquakes, cyclones, floods and tornadoes.

Nimbo Earth Online with modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2023-2024)