UPDATE: Christchurch Adventure Park damaged but not destroyed by wildfire - Dirt

Mountain Biking Magazine



UPDATE: Christchurch Adventure Park damaged but not destroyed by wildfire

Overnight drizzle quells flames

At last we’ve had some good news out of Christchurch. it seems the danger to Christchurch Adventure Park from a raging wildfire has passed.

The fire ripped through the hills above the park and damaged many of the trails but the village and base station were saved by the hard work of local firefighters. The chairlift cable has also been running through the fires to prevent the build up of hotspots.

This video shows the extent of the damage

Anne Newman, CAP spokesperson, told Stuff.nz: “We haven’t been able to get into the park to properly assess the damage. We know the village and the base station haven’t been touched by fire. Until we can assess, there’s very little else that we can say at this stage.”

The park will remain closed for now but the hope is to re-open before too long. With over 100 staff and a $20 million investment it has confirmed it is committed to Christchurch. The park has also been inundated with public support but it is too early to take anyone up yet. For the latest news follow them on Facebook.

Here’s our original story from Wednesday:

A forest fire is threatening Christchurch Adventure park – the southern hemisphere’s biggest bike park that has been open less than two months.

The Port Hills area fires broke out on Monday afternoon. Up to 40 homes have been destroyed and hundreds evacuated as fires spread down the valley. The flames have also claimed the life of helicopter pilot, 38-year-old David Steven Askin, who was killed while fighting the flames.

Yesterday, the fires spread into the Christchurch Adventure Park. The $24 million bike park was only opened on 16 December and houses 50km of downhill trails, it also played host to the New Zealand Open just last weekend. At 880 acres, it’s the southern hemisphere’s largest bike park and has New Zealand’s longest chairlift.

We need rain asap ???? hoping the bike park is not in ashes ????

A post shared by Sam Blenkinsop (@samblenkinsop) on

Video has emerged of flames surrounding the trails but there are also reports it has englufed the top chairlift station. The park is continuing to run the chairlift to prevent the build up of hotspots. As of last night, the fire had not spread to the village area, where it could cause the most damage, however, local reports are suggesting that it is a very real possibility.

The Park posted on Facebook: ‘Heartbreaking day. Fire crews are in the village and at the base station working tirelessly. Thank you so much for your messages of support, they mean a lot.”

The fires are predicted to burn for another 48-72 hours. At the moment it is too early to say what damage has been caused but we really hope that the park can bounce back as soon as possible. It’s gut-wrenching to think of all the work and dedication that’s been devastated by this freak event.

Firefighters are working tirelessly to quell the flames and we wish them good luck and safety. We’ll update this story when we have more information.


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