Latest News

Pigeon Valley Fire Update 24 - 9 February 2019 1945 hours

Reminder: A state of emergency is still in place

Wakefield Evacuations

Residents in the Wai-iti area are being asked to prepare to evacuate. This is a precautionary measure to allow residents time to plan for an orderly departure, should it become necessary because of the progress of the fire. Anyone preparing to evacuate should: 

  • Find any house pets (cats and dogs), bring them inside for the night
  • Leave cellphones on and charged overnight 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
  • Follow the fire safety tips below

Reminder: All those who have evacuated are asked to register at Saxton Field Stadium, Stoke or ring 03 543 8400.

Pigeon Valley fire

Fire conditions have been as predicted during the day. Some air support was used in the Redwood area to address existing fires in some of the gully areas.

Resources in action:

  • 23 helicopters
  • 2 fixed wing planes
  • 1 drone team
  • 29 firefighting crews and around 150 firefighters. These are a mix of vegetation and structure specialist crews from right across the country - from as far north as Auckland to as far south as Southland.
  • 47 Incident Management staff
  • 23 heavy machines (excavators and bulldozers).

Additional resources from around the country will also be arriving to assist and replace some crews who have been working for 5 days.

Tomorrow wind gusts are predicted to reach up to around 50km/h, which would heighten the fire danger.

Walters Bluff fire

The fire at Walters Bluff is still under control and three crews and a bulldozer were on site all day working to extinguish any remaining hot spots.

Animal Welfare

The Ministry for Primary Industries has been working with the SPCA, Massey University Response Team to look after animals from the affected areas. The welfare of animals in these areas is their top priority.

  • MPI have had teams since the fire began conducting animal relocations or evacuations.
  • There is a team caring for evacuated animals at the Richmond Showgrounds animal welfare centre where there is housing, food, water and blankets.  
  • MPI teams are also going beyond the cordon, when it is safe enough to do so, to check-on animals and make sure they have enough water and are not suffering.  
  • If you are worried about your animals in the fire affected area you can contact MPI on 0800 008 333 (option 4).

Some residents have expressed concerns about the effects of smoke inhalation on their pets and livestock. MPI has advised that current smoke levels are not considered unsafe, however if you have a pet or livestock in distress, please contact your usual veterinarian.

Speed Limit

A new safer speed limit of 80kph has been introduced on the Kohatu detour route. Please obey this limit for everybody’s safety. 

Welfare

A reminder that it’s very normal to feel anxious during an emergency event such as a fire. Talking to people and helping others can be useful.

If you need further support for yourself or for others, call your General Practice or Healthline on 0800 611 116.

The smoke may also cause you to experience some symptoms such as irritated eyes, nose, throat and airways, due to the smoke. These should go away once you remove yourself from the smoke.

If your symptoms worsen and do not respond to their usual measures, call your General Practice or Healthline 0800 611 116. If you experience breathlessness or chest pain, call 111.

Any evacuees who are needing assistance with accommodation, please contact the Civil Defence Centre at Saxton Field Stadium, Stoke or ring 03 543 8400.

Fire safety tips

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 –

Donations from members of the public

Two charities are taking donations from members of the public to support people affected by the fire near Wakefield:

  1. Tasman District Council Mayoral relief fund
  2. Red Cross

All news