Incident controller and Hurunui principal rural fire officer Allan Grigg said firefighters needed to bring the fire under complete control soon, as north west winds were predicted for Friday. "We're going really good. It's still 100 per cent contained and we're moving up to 90 per cent controlled. It's not going anywhere at this point, but [Friday], it's crunch time."
A thermal imaging drone had identified more than 1000 hotspots in the are, which were being methodically exposed and extinguished.
Firefighters would not know until late Friday if it was fully under control. Embers caught up by the wind could float over a kilometer from a fire, igniting more spot fires.
Fire fighters are still working to extinguish hot spots from the Hanmer Springs fires.
On Friday there were 10 ground crews, 14 fire trucks and three items of heavy machinery working on site, as well as three helicopters in the air.
As there would be fire fighters working in the area for some time, Grigg said it was imperative that people be mindful of those working to protect the area from the fires.
The burnt landscape mars the beauty of the Hurunui District.
He said it was decided on Wednesday that no state of emergency needed to be declared as the services available were sufficient to the task. Grigg said he wanted to thank the "amazing people" of the 14 fire crews, 12 helicopters and members of the Port Hills fire management team who had assisted in fighting the Hanmer fires. "We can't thank them enough. And they all do it with a smile."
Rural fire fighters get some rest between fighting the Hanmer fires.
He said there were some in the district who were affected by the drought who also suffered damage in the earthquakes. The last thing anyone needed was to add fire to that list. As for the drought, Dalley said he would continue to discuss solutions for the issue with the Ministry of Agriculture. "If we don't get substantial rain over the next few weeks, we'll be going into winter pretty precarious." All going well, Grigg said, some fire fighters would be in the area for around a week to monitor the area and prevent flare ups.
Fire fighters were provided a cooked lunch as a respite from fighting the Hanmer fires.