Evacuation Information

Police will contact you if you need to leave your home. In case you have to go, here's how to prepare.

Richmond Civil Defence Centre at New Life Church

The Richmond Civil Defence Centre for those affected by the Pigeon Valley Fire is at the Richmond New Life Church, Wensley Road Richmond, open from 10am - 4pm.

The Centre can provide welfare information, help with accommodation for those who need it and can accept pets. 

For those who can’t make it to the Centre, or don’t need additional assistance, please call 03 543 8400 to register by phone. For further welfare info click here.


Preparing to evacuate

Allow yourself time to plan for an orderly departure, should it become necessary because of the progress of the fire. Emergency services staff will visit you if you need to evacuate. Alerts to prepare to evacuate will be in media and on this website.

Anyone preparing to evacuate should: 

  • Find any house pets (cats and dogs), bring them inside
  • Leave cellphones on and charged so you can receive alerts
  • If you see spot fires – dial 111 immediately
  • Prepare essential items such as food, clothing and medication to take should you need to evacuate
  • Ensure your vehicle has enough fuel for the return trip

If you feel in danger: do not wait, get out

You can self-evacuate if you feel in danger or if smoke is affecting your health or comfort. Go to the welfare centre at Saxton Field Stadium in Stoke.

Reminder: All those who have evacuated are asked to register at Saxton Field Stadium, Stoke or ring 03 543 8400. This is crucial - it means we can contact you about getting you back home when the time comes.

What to take

If you need to evacuate your home, here's what to take

  • Pack essentials - people, pets, prescriptions, passports, plastic cards (or cash)
  • A change of clothing and something warm to wear.
  • Water and food
  • Be aware you may not be able to return for several days

Fire safety tips to protect your property

Below are some ways that you can reduce fire risk to your property:

  • Remove flammable items from around your house such as deck furniture, firewood and door mats.
  • Dampen dry areas around the house, especially where dry leaves could gather, such as gutters, decks, and making sure gaps are not open under the house.
  • Keep gutters clear.
  • Keep windows closed.

More information about rural fire safety and protecting you and your property can be found –

Animal welfare


If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you – if you can do so safely – or take them to a safe shelter place.

Pets can be taken to the Richmond Showgrounds if you are unable to find alternative accommodation for them. You can leave your pets with the team there – who will care for them until you’re able to either return home or make other arrangements for them.

PLEASE do not leave pets in cars for extended periods. If you go to the Civil Defence Centre at Richmond New Life Church, you can take your pets with you as long as cats are in a cage and dogs are on leads. If you go to a Marae, please ensure your pets have already been taken to either the showgrounds or to friends, family, whānau, or boarding facilities. Local Marae aren’t equipped to cater for an influx of animals and wish to ensure they are well looked after.


Livestock needing to be evacuated can be accommodated at the Richmond Showgrounds. Please note:

Horses, sheep and goats can be accommodated in empty stables – Come to main gate at 358 Lower Queen Street. Please don’t use the Richmond entrance (the gum gate) – that’s for heavy vehicles only.

Please leave your name and contact number on the stable door and provide food for your animals. There is water available on site.

For sheep and cattle – please call the contact centre on 03 543 8400 as we may be able to help make arrangements for you to get access to the racecourse oval to accommodate them.

If you have to leave your animals behind, make sure they’re in a safe place, well away from any fire risk, such as a recently ploughed paddock.

Ensure that any livestock left on your property have sufficient food and water for 2-3 days and that they have freedom to move to water.