Pigeon Valley Fire update 36: Wakefield residents allowed home
Wakefield residents evacuated from their properties can return home.
Civil Defence Incident Controller Roger Ball announced the decision at 4pm following a careful risk assessment involving CDEM, Fire and Police.
The decision takes effect immediately after Police were able to get their staff into position earlier than expected.
Returning residents must be prepared to evacuate if conditions change. The signals to evacuate will be an emergency mobile alert message sent to cellphones, AND the continuous sounding of the Wakefield fire siren.
There will continue to be a heavy police presence throughout Wakefield monitoring the return and ensuring the supporting of any properties that remain vacant.
This immediate return is for residents only. Therefore please ensure you are able to demonstrate you are a returning resident if you are asked for proof.
People who are not residents may go into Wakefield after 7am tomorrow.
The escorted convoys through Wakefield on SH6 will cease at 4pm and SH6 will be available for normal traffic from that time. Please note that unless you are a resident, you will not be able to stop in Wakefield until 7am tomorrow.
We anticipate that there will be congestion on Wakefield streets for the next few hours so the speed limits are being reduced to ensure everyone’s safety on the roads. Until 7am the current 70km zone will be reduced to 50km and the 50km areas will have a 30km speed limit.
Agencies involved in the fire response were still actively planning for Valley residents to be able to return home.
At this stage we are not able to say when that can happen, except that it will not be today. This is because the Valleys have been affected by fire so the preparations for residents’ safe return is more complex. However, we have continued to enable restricted access for residents of the four Valleys today and will continue to do so on a daily basis, provided the conditions are safe.