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Pigeon Valley Fire Update 42: Work continues on conditional re-entry to evacuated areas

Conditional re-entry

Work continues today to assess the possibility of conditional re-entry to the remaining evacuated areas. The planning and assessment of this is a complex process.
Factors that need to be considered and balanced include:

  • Current weather forecast
  • Fire Behaviour
  • Availability of emergency personnel
  • The condition of infrastructure within the fire damaged areas
  • Geotechnical risks due to fire damage
  • Damage around driveways affecting access to properties

The time it would take to evacuate the area versus the predicted speed the fire could spread is also a crucial consideration. More details will be available as soon as more research has been done. We appreciate people are extremely keen to get home but the situation is everchanging and safety must come first.

Fire update

Fire and Emergency New Zealand crews had a good night last night with favourable weather conditions. Today they will be focussing their efforts on identifying and tackling hotspots, and are likely to remain for some weeks, within the fire area.

Today they have around 150 staff working on the ground, 9 helicopters and 13 heavy machines (excavators and dozers).

Iwi support

Iwi leaders from the eight Top of the South iwi are in Nelson Tasman today to support the fire response.


Iwi leaders visited the Civil Defence emergency operations centre in Richmond today.

They visited the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Emergency Operations Centre in Richmond for orientation within their rohe (area of influence).
Iwi Liaison Manager Barney Thomas said it was an opportunity for iwi to understand the contributions being made from within the region and around New Zealand.

The eight iwi with rohe are Ngati Tama, Te Atiawa, Ngata Toa, Ngata Rarua, Ngata Koata, Rangi Tane, Ngati Kuia and Ngata Apa.
Whakatu Marae in Nelson has been providing emergency accommodation for evacuees and the Te Awina Marae and Te Hora are both still on standby.

Iwi will be providing cultural support to MPI staff and animal owners today.

The ongoing level of iwi support will also be discussed with Sarah Stuart-Black, Director of Civil Defence, later today.

Weather forecast

Fine and sunny.

Wind: Light winds at first (mainly southwest) becoming north to northwest 10-20km/hr towards midday.  A change during the afternoon (1-3pm) to westerly 20-35km/hr, then tending to southwest 25-40km/hr by evening ( 4-6pm) with possible gusts of 50km/hr in exposed places. 

Southwesterlies easing to 15-25km/hr tonight.

Precipitation: Nil.

Temperature: 18-20C rising to a maximum of 25-27C this afternoon, then lowering to 18-20C tonight. 

Humidity: 70-80%, lowering to 50-60% this afternoon with the westerly, then rising back to 70-80% tonight. 

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