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WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Hundreds of homes in the New Zealand city of Christchurch have been evacuated as wildfires threaten some suburbs.
Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton tells The Associated Press he's planning to declare a state of emergency, as was the mayor of adjacent Christchurch. He says changing winds have made the fires unpredictable.
Displaced residents are staying at evacuation centers or with relatives.
A helicopter pilot died in a crash Tuesday while fighting the blaze.
The New Zealand military on Wednesday revealed the pilot, Corporal David Steven Askin, was a soldier who had won one of the country's top awards for bravery in Afghanistan. A member of the elite Special Air Service, Askin's identity was kept secret at the time he won the Gallantry Star medal.