Christchurch City Council said more than 1,800 hectares of land had been torched in the Port Hills, an area of rugged terrain hard to access to the east of the city centre.
After 11 homes were destroyed and hundreds were chased from their homes, there was finally some good news from officials fighting a wildfire in New Zealand's second-largest city: crews were finally able to halt the inferno's advance toward suburban homes.
"I do believe that states of local emergencies could have been declared earlier but, at the time, I was not in Christchurch and local authorities knew the situation in more detail than I did". It's not known how that fire started but authorities suspect it started in a auto park.
He said the region had been unusually dry for the past three years and the grass in the hills had turned brown over the summer.
Eleven homes have been confirmed to be destroyed and more than 1000 people have been evacuated.
He agreed that was true, but said doing so required full knowledge of the scene, and there are structures in place for those with that information to make the decision that need to be fixed in future.
Smoke dominated the skyline in Christchurch on Monday afternoon, prompting the Canterbury District Health Board to issue health advice.
"I can't believe it's just caught on fire after it survived the night".
Image Caption: There are hopes a weather change later this week will help firefighters.
A new mountain bike park, the Christchurch Adventure Park, was threatened by the fire.
Logistics personnel and equipment will be sent from Burnham Military Camp, on the outskirts of Christchurch, along with engineering equipment, water tankers and manpower options to support cordons and firebreaks, Mr Brownlee said.
A helicopter pilot was killed February 14 while working on a fire in New Zealand. David Steven Askin, won one of the country's top awards for bravery for his actions in Afghanistan.
Previously he had been a member of New Zealand's Special Air Service, a special forces unit of the Army.
In 2014, Askin was wounded during a grenade-and-gun battle with the Taliban.