Dunedin’s Logan Park / Signal Hill Fire Dec 2016 ● Cause unknown

Dunedin man Wayne Baird said flames were “a good 30 or 40 metres high…. It’s a good wind blowing right up the valley. It’s all bush and pine so it’s good fuel.” (Stuff)

28.12.16 Stuff.co.nz at 7:47am
Fire crews at the scene of large fire in Dunedin
By Hamish McNeilly
Fire crews are at the scene of a large fire on Wednesday morning to ensure it remains extinguished. The fire threatened a Dunedin high school and several homes. Patrols stayed on Signal Hill through the night, dampening down hot spots after a bush-clad area half the size of a rugby field on the side of Signal Hill was sparked on Tuesday afternoon. […] The fire was contained by 5.45pm on Tuesday and rural fire crews patrolled the area overnight, a Fire Service spokesman said. “I don’t believe it will spread any more and the chances of evacuation have gone down a lot,” he said.
Read more + Photos/Videos


27.12.16 RNZ News at 8:51 p.m.
Three homes evacuated over Dunedin scrub fire
Three homes have been evacuated as a precaution, as firefighters continue to extinguish a large scrub fire in Dunedin. The scrub fire on Signal Hill near Butts Road broke out at about 2.45pm and was fanned by strong winds. Link + Photos

27.12.16 NZ Herald at 7:19 p.m.
Large fire burning on Signal Hill in Dunedin contained
The fire on Signal Hill in Dunedin has been contained, but about 40 firefighters and three helicopters are continuing to fight the blaze. Earlier tonight three homes in Rimu Street, Ravensbourne, were evacuated as a precaution. The occupants of these homes are likely to return tonight. […] Local residents said the fire 10 years ago was worse. Link + Video

27.12.16 TVNZ 1 News at 5:47 p.m.
Fire on Dunedin’s Signal Hill now contained, cause still unknown
A large scrub fire in Dunedin is now contained, after it began earlier this afternoon. Forty firefighters and four helicopters are at the scene on Signal Hill behind Logan Park High School in North Dunedin. A Fire Service spokesperson says they were called to the fire just before 3pm. They say the blaze is now contained but not extinguished, and they expect to work all night dampening it down. Link + Video


Otago Daily Times

28.12.16 Hillside ablaze in Dunedin [photos]
28.12.16 Fire crews on watch overnight [story, video and photos]
27.12.16 Ravensbourne evacuees likely to return home [story, videos and photos]

Otago Daily Times Published on Dec 27, 2016
Emergency services attend a large fire at Signal Hill
Emergency services, including three helicopters with monsoon buckets, attend a large fire at Signal Hill.

Otago Daily Times Published on Dec 27, 2016
Fire at Signal Hill
Video: Vaugan Elder

Otago Daily Times Published on Dec 27, 2016
Fire on Signal Hill from Logan Park
Fire on Signal Hill from Logan Park High School.



In late October 2006, bush fires caused extensive damage to forest plantations on the western slopes of Signal Hill. The series of fires forced DCC to close the Signal Hill Reserve indefinitely.



ODT: Opinion: 100 Years Ago (re-published on 9 Oct 2014)
A great fire
Under the influence of the heavy north-west gale which blew yesterday the smouldering fires which are stated to have started on the Leith-Waitati saddle about last Tuesday and travelled to Mount Cargill burst into vivid flames, which spread with great rapidity. The warm winds which have been experienced since Tuesday – at first from the south-west and yesterday from the north-east – have had a drying effect on the grass, and, the fire once fully alight, soon spread in all directions. Yesterday fires were observed on Mount Cargill, on Signal Hill, and on the hill above Logan’s quarry, and vast clouds of smoke drifted from these across the harbour, in places quite blotting out the view. Fortunately the fire above the quarry did not live long, while that at Signal Hill also appeared late in the afternoon to have burnt itself out. On the Leith-Waitati saddle and Mount Cargill, however, a different tale has to be told. Read more

ODT: Opinion: 100 Years Ago (re-published on 11 Oct 2014)
Flames thwarted
Fortunately the flames of the Leith-Mt Cargill-Waitati Saddle fire did not demolish any dwellings, and the actual damage suffered by settlers, apart from the loss of timber, was, as far as could be ascertained, very slight, considering the magnitude of the fire. The loss of timber was the greatest suffered by anyone, and a good deal of valuable wood was destroyed. A few sheds and small huts were also wiped out of existence, and a length of tramway belonging to a sawmiller and an odd haystack was burned. The timber destroyed was the real loss, and it is difficult to estimate its value. However, it must be considerable. […] In a few places telegraph poles were burnt, but no damage was done sufficiently serious to interfere greatly with communication. The most irreparable damage is that to the scenic reserves, which have suffered very badly. A patch of bush at Upper Waitati between the Saddle and Pine Hill, owned by the Dunedin City Council and the Scenic Preservation Commissioners, was attacked, and many acres of it have been ruined.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Dunedin, Events, Fire and Emergency NZ, Geography, Media, New Zealand, People, Property, Public interest, Site

8 responses to “Dunedin’s Logan Park / Signal Hill Fire Dec 2016 ● Cause unknown

  1. Elizabeth

    There by the grace of dog go we – not a camping ground in Central Otago singed courtesy of Aurora/Delta….

    27.12.16 NZ Herald: Campground fire destroys cars, caravans
    Cars, caravans and trees were ravaged when a fast-moving hedge fire spread through a north Canterbury campground last night. Fire crews from six stations were called to the fire at Leithfield Beach Motor Camp, 7km south of Amberley, just after 6pm after a fire broke out in trees. Cont/

  2. Peter

    Maybe DVML started the fire so at least it looked like something was happening around the stadium?

  3. Elizabeth

    ● Firefighters and contractors remain at site to ensure fire does not reignite.

    ● 40 firefighters from 8 fire appliances and 6 helicopters battled blaze. Clean-up will add to firefighting costs.

    Thu, 29 Dec 2016
    ODT: Firefighting, clean-up costly
    The cost of the fire that raged through more than 25ha of forestry and scrub on Signal Hill in North Dunedin will be at least in six figures, Otago Rural Fire Authority operations manager Graeme Still says. It will be weeks before the cause of the blaze, which came within 300m of homes in Ravensbourne on Tuesday, is known, but a joint investigation by the Fire Service and the Otago Rural Fire Authority is under way. Cont/

    Other ODT stories:

    29.12.16 Mopping up replaces chilling out
    29.12.16 School head wants hillside to be cleared
    29.12.16 Panic coming home to shroud of smoke

  4. Elizabeth

    Fri, 30 Dec 2016
    ODT: Burn puts brakes on biking
    A network of downhill mountain-biking tracks on Signal Hill has been damaged by this week’s large scrub fire in Dunedin. Mountain Biking Otago president Kristy Booth said a full inspection had not yet been possible, as firefighters worked to dampen down hot spots following the fire on Tuesday. […] Yesterday’s drizzle not enough to assure firefighters area is completely safe – until rain arrives, the Otago Rural Fire Authority would be visiting the hill daily. Cont/

  5. Elizabeth
  6. Elizabeth

    Tue, 3 Jan 2017
    ODT: Signal Hill fire suspect, authority head says
    The Fire Service is treating as suspicious a blaze that ripped across 24ha of Dunedin’s Signal Hill last week, requiring multiple fire appliances and three helicopters with monsoon buckets to put out. Otago Rural Fire Authority operations manager Graeme Still said yesterday a preliminary  investigation of the site, above Logan Park High School, had been completed, and no “natural cause” for the fire had been found. “We’ve come to the conclusion it is a suspicious fire, and if anyone has any information they want to pass on, that would be good.” Cont/

    █ Anyone with information on the Signal Hill fire can call 0800 673 473, or the police.

  7. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

    Fire investigation report at least two weeks away.

    Thu, 2 Feb 2017
    ODT: $100k to fight Signal Hill fire
    The cost of fighting the blaze that tore through more than 25ha of forestry and scrub on Signal Hill has come to more than $100,000, but the Otago Rural Fire Authority is yet to decide if it will attempt to recoup the outlay. The fire investigation into the blaze continues, but the authority has already stated it was not caused naturally […] it was unclear if it had been deliberately lit, started due to negligence or was entirely accidental. Cont/

  8. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

    █ Anyone with information could contact the Fire Service on (03) 467-7550, alternatively information could be provided to police.
    Dunedin police (03) 471-4800, Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

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