Pigeon Valley Fire Update 49: Some Pigeon Valley residents return home
Residents of about 74 properties in south Pigeon Valley have been able to return home on a 'conditional re-entry' basis from 8am today.
That leaves about 133 properties and 370 people still evacuated.
Police have been able to lift a cordon, allowing the residents back on a conditional basis. They are at the Wakefield end of Pigeon Valley Road and the south branch of Pigeon Valley Road.
The north branch of Pigeon Valley Road is still closed at the intersection with the south branch of Pigeon Valley Road.
For those returning home, please ensure food is still safe to eat. Inspect the food; does it smell or appear different? Defrosted food cannot be refrozen. Ultimately, if you think or suspect that food is not safe, throw it out. More information on what may or may not be safe to eat can be found on the MPI website
Restricted daytime access for residents
Extra provision has been made for temporary daytime access for residents in other areas to tend to their properties and do more extensive farm maintenance. They can now enter their properties from 8am to 2pm each day.
The time extension does not apply for Redwood Valley - fire conditions there are still too volatile and potentially dangerous. We are aware of unstable trees near houses, for example so the 10am to 12 noon time limit remains until further notice.
The Ministry for Primary Industries is working closely with Tasman District Council, Rural Support Trust and other local agencies to ensure rural communities are supported as fire and drought conditions continue.
Water for stock
With no rain respite expected, and further water restrictions now in place, it’s imperative to conserve as much water as possible while still providing for your animal and human welfare needs. It is also critical stock levels on properties are appropriate to the water restrictions in place. Farmers and lifestyle block owners need to be making active destocking decisions.
The number of animals at the showgrounds is reducing, however there are still over 500 animals being looked after.
Officers at cordons
With longer access hours for residents from today (with the exception of Redwood Valley) our animal welfare officers will again be at the cordons and people are encouraged to approach the MPI staff there if they have any concerns. For any animal welfare advice or assistance please contact MPI’s animal welfare team on 0800 008 333 (Option 4).
Advice to rural communities
Providing shade and shelter
Contain livestock in paddocks where there is adequate shade for every animal. Check that the water supply is still drinkable. Low dams or ponds may be surrounded by mud or sludge. Fencing off these areas will prevent animals from potentially becoming entrapped.
It is critical stock levels on properties are appropriate to the water restrictions currently in place. Farmers and lifestyle block owners need to be making active destocking decisions.
Federated Farmers has opened its Feedline to support farmers who have been affected by the fires and need extra feed or grazing for their animals. Farmers who are short of feed, or who have feed to donate, can contact Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646.
Anyone affected by fires and needing feed for animals can register for this help but availability is dependent on donations and priority will be given to farms who rely on farm income for their living and have been affected by fire.
Wildfires and animal welfare
For properties affected by the wildfire, MPI has animal welfare staff at each cordon during the access periods. People are encouraged to approach these staff if they have any concerns or need help.
For further animal welfare advice or assistance contact MPI’s animal welfare team on 0800 008 333 (Option 4).
Rural Support Trust
Farmers and grower communities are also able to access support from the local Rural Support Trust who can provide free and confidential support, advice and referrals, including with health, finances and more. The RST can be contacted on 0800 787 254.