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Pigeon Valley fire update 7 2015hrs

  • The fire now covers 1900 ha, with an approximately 22 km perimeter.
  • Crews will be active overnight.
  • Rabbit Island fire covered up to 10ha, now mostly contained
  • 235 properties have been evacuated
  • Community meeting tomorrow morning at 9.00am - note updated venue: Appleby Rural Fire Station

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Incident controller John Sutton said it has been a good day on the ground as the Pigeon Valley fire continues to burn.

“We’ve had favourable weather and fire behaviour. Currently 48 crew, 14 aircraft and about 10 pieces of heavy machinery are fighting the blaze. We have no injuries or confirmed loss of property."

Ground crews remain in place in the Eves Valley, Redwood Park and Pigeon Valley areas and  helicopters are working to protect homes and manage the fire. Bulldozers are also working on containment lines in key areas.

Similar weather is forecast tomorrow, which should help efforts to begin to contain the fire.

“Tomorrow should be a similar weather pattern – that will be in our favour. It will help us contain the fire if there are changes to the weather later.”

However, the direction of the fire is hard to predict – it can change quickly depending on the weather conditions and temperature.

“At the moment we are focusing on containment. NZDF and DOC crews are arriving tomorrow as well as a couple more aircraft. Heavy machinery will work on fire breaks.

Keep out of the fire area

Please don’t drive on any of the affected roads as you may not be able to turn around and you will hinder the firefighting effort as well as posing a fire risk yourself.

Rabbit Island Fire contained

Rabbit Island fire broke out earlier this afternoon, and covered up to 10ha, but has now been largely brought under control.

“Five helicopters and four crews worked on this today and hit it hard. At the moment is mostly contained.”

Community meeting 9am tomorrow morning

The combined response team will host a community meeting tomorrow morning at 9.00am at the Appleby Rural Fire Station, corner Cotterell Road and SH60. FENZ, Police, Civil Defence and other agencies will attend to update residents.

Evacuations and welfare

Currently 235 properties have been evacuated.

The Civil Defence Centre at St John’s Church, Wakefield remains open. The Centre can provide welfare information and help with accommodation for those who need it.  They can also accept pets.

All residents who have evacuated or self-evacuated are asked to register. 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.

Welfare visits

For people who have been affected, Civil Defence teams are preparing to further assess welfare needs. The visits will begin when it is safe to get crews and residents near to affected properties. This may be some days away.

Animal welfare

Livestock needing to be evacuated due to the Pigeon Valley Fire can be accommodated at the Richmond Showgrounds.

Horses, sheep and goats can be accommodated in empty stables – use the Campground Gate to the Showgrounds and follow the road to the stable blocks. Please leave your name and contact number on the stable door and provide food for your animals. There is water available onsite.

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

We continue to encourage people to take their animals with them when they evacuate. Livestock can be taken to Richmond Showgrounds. A small number of stock have had to be euthanised, although this number may increase.

Confirmed road closures / cordons

  • Pigeon Valley Road at fire station to the last driveway before seal n Dovedale (approx. 381 Dovedale Road).
  • Moutere Highway from Redwood Rd to Waimea West Road intersection
  • Eves Valley Road
  • Teapot Road
  • Golden Hills Road at Moutere Highway intersection
  • Golden Hills Road at Challies Road intersection
  • Intersection of Redwood Valley Road and Redwood Valley Lane
  • Green Acres Road
  • Mailing Road

Changes to school bus routes

School Bus pickup points are changing. Pick up times will remain as normal.

  • Redwood Valley / Redwood Lane, Malling Road & Greenacres Road: The bus will pick up at each of the intersections with the Moutere Highway.
  • Teapot Valley and Eves Valley: The bus will pick up at each of the intersections with Waimea West road.
  • Pigeon Valley : The bus will pick you up at the Wakefield Village Green.

Offers of Assistance

Thank you for the many offers of help we’ve received for people affected by the Pigeon Valley fire. We have collated offers made so far and will be in touch if we need your assistance.

The Nelson Snippets facebook page is also providing a way for the community to share offers of assistance.

Further updates

Updates will be available on the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence website and facebook page, both Nelson City and Tasman District Council facebook pages and websites, and through BrianFm radio at 105.6 FM.

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