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Pigeon Valley Fire Update 50: Fire crews make progress on containment line

Fire fighting crews have made good progress today in their work to ‘black out’ a 10m containment line around the perimeter. They are continuously coming across hotspots, especially in Redwood Valley area. They will eventually grow this 'black out' containment line (cold area where no material is able to ignite) to 30m.

Today they had around  130 personnel (working as crews of 5-6) on the ground but are also utilising helicopters, trucks, tankers, diggers and drones to understand where the risks are and to address them.


Daytime access extended for evacuated residents

Temporary daytime access was extended by four hours to residents of the Valleys for the first time today - they can now enter their properties from 8am to 2pm each day. This gives residents more time to tend to their properties and do more extensive farm maintenance, for example.


The exception to this time extension is 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  Richmond Civil Defence Centre, based at New Life Church, has been well attended today with around 35-40 people visiting to discuss support available.  

Water restrictions

Tasman District Council has introduced stage 4 water restrictions from Monday for all consented takes on the Waimea Plains and Motupiko areas. Many of the rural properties who reply on this supply are concerned about how that will affect them (especially those in the area of the fire with temporary access)..  

Weather outlook

Fine with high cloud developing this evening. A few showers developing around, or soon after, midnight.

Light northeast winds tonight with a temperature of 28 degrees Celsius this afternoon..

Humidity levels will be higher, rising to 90% tonight.

Tomorrow there could be showers before dawn then it is expected to be fine for the rest of the day. Total rainfall is not expected to be more than 2mm.

The wind will turn to southwest soon after midnight, up to 25 km/h then easing during the morning and changing northeast 10 to 15 km/h. Temperatures of 23 to 25 degrees Celsius in the afternoon.

Humidity level will drop from around 90% before dawn to 30 to 40% in the



Looking ahead: The pattern until Tuesday is for mainly fine weather with light winds and afternoon northeasterlies. However, cloudy periods are likely on Saturday and Tuesday. There may also be some showers in the area on Saturday, but totals are likely to be insignificant. 

Kerbside collections

TheTasman District Council rubbish collection that was scheduled for this morning for Pigeon Valley Road (to intersection with Pigeon Valley South Branch Road), Pigeon Valley South Branch Road and Golf Road has now moved to 9am this Saturday. 

Updated fire information map

Just a reminder that you can view information about evacuation zones, road closures, welfare centres and much more on our live map  We are fortunate to have a fabulous GIS team updating this 24/7. 

Assistance with livestock

For those with 'restricted access' to their properties (8am-2pm) who need help with moving stock or stock welfare please get in touch with any of the the Ministry for Primary Industries Animal Welfare Officers at each cordon. If you cannot locate an officer at your nearest cordon please call 0800 008 333 option 4. 

Mental and physical health advice and services

For people with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or other lung disease: People with these conditions are at greatest risk associated with exposure to ash or smoke residue. Those with angina or other heart disease might also be affected.

  • If you start to develop symptoms use the medicines prescribed to you by your doctor.
  • 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.

Free GP visits and pharmacy prescriptions: The usual fees for GP visits and pharmacy prescriptions will be waived for fire-related appointment

For help getting healthcare: Health navigators from Nelson Bays Primary Health are available to help connect you to health services

Mental wellbeing: Anxiety is very common during an emergency event such as an uncontrolled fire. This is a normal response to a very stressful situation. Talking to people and helping others can be both therapeutic and useful.

If you need further support for yourself or for others:

  • Call your general practice, after-hours GP practice or Healthline on 0800 611 116
  • Free-call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor
  • In an emergency, call 111

 Free 24-hour helplines

  • Plunketline: Information for families, phone 0800 933 922
  • Healthline: For an assessment by a nurse, phone 0800 611 116
  • Mental health: To speak to a counsellor, phone or text 1737

GPs and pharmacies

  • On weekdays, call or visit your usual GP practice
  • After-hours and on weekend, call or visit the Medical and Injury Centre (Nelson) and in Motueka (Greenwood Health or The Doctors)
  • Pharmacists can provide a range of free health advice

In emergencies: Call 111 for emergencies or go to Nelson Hospital ED for emergencies

Pregnant women: Contact your midwife for support and advice during pregnancy and postnatal period

Vulnerable people

Vulnerable residents/evacuees such as older people and people with disabilities may not meet the criteria for re-entry – specifically the criteria that they must be able to evacuate promptly again, in an hour or less.

Nelson Marlborough Health staff will be in contact with vulnerable evacuees to discuss the re-entry criteria, to advise them where to get healthcare and to generally see how they are doing

People can also contact the Nelson Marlborough Health Needs Assessment Service (Support Works) about this: 0800 244 300


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