Pigeon Valley Fire update 24 - 14:10 hours 09/02/2019

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Pigeon Valley Fire update 24 - 14:10 hours 09/02/2019

 

Reminder: A state of emergency is still in place

 

Media advisory

A media stand up will be held at 3.30pm today, Saturday 9 February at the Tasman District Council.

 

Pigeon Valley fire

Fire activity has increased this morning, passing the trigger point for evacuation for the Wakefield area at around midnight last night. Our most significant efforts are currently focused on a fire front near Wakefield which is moving slowly downslope.

 

Today there are:

  • 23 helicopters
  • 2 fixed wing planes
  • 1 drone team
  • 29 firefighting crews and around 150 firefighters. These are a mix of vegetation and structure specialist crews from right across the country - from as far north as Auckland to as far south as Southland.
  • 47 Incident Management staff
    • 23 heavy machines (excavators and bulldozers)

…fighting the fire. Additional resources from around the country will also be arriving to assist and replace some crews who have been working for 5 days.

 

The relative humidity has increased this morning which will help firefighting efforts today.  Today’s winds are also forecast to be lower than yesterday, gusting up to around 30km/h by 6pm today. Tomorrow’s weather conditions are likely to be similar to today however, wind gusts are predicted to reach up to around 50km/h.

 

Walters Bluff fire

The fire at Walters Bluff is still under control and three crews and a bulldozer will be on site working to extinguish remaining fire.

 

Animal Welfare

Some residents have expressed concerns about the effects of smoke inhalation on their pets and livestock.  MPI has advised that current smoke levels are not considered unsafe, however if you have a pet or livestock in distress, please contact your usual veterinarian.

 

A number of veterinarians have come forward and offered their support during this event and the Ministry of Primary Industries has an Animal Welfare Emergency Response team providing support in the area.

 

If you require any assistance with your animals including stock, please contact the Ministry of Primary Industries on 0800 008 333 – option 4.

 

Speed Limit

A new safer speed limit of 80kph has been introduced on the Kohatu detour route. Please obey this limit for everybody’s safety.  

 

Welfare

A reminder that it’s very normal to feel anxious during an emergency event such as a fire. Talking to people and helping others can be useful.

 

If you need further support for yourself or for others, call your General Practice or Healthline on 0800 611 116.

 

The smoke may also cause you to experience some symptoms such as irritated eyes, nose, throat and airways, due to the smoke. These should go away once you remove yourself from the smoke.

 

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.

 

Any evacuees who are needing assistance with accommodation, please contact the Civil Defence Centre at Saxton Field Stadium, Stoke or ring 03 543 8400.

 


Managed escort – SH6                                                                                       

The New Zealand Defence Force are continuing to run escorted convoys through the portion of SH6 that runs through Wakefield township from 8am to 6pm today. This will allow access through Wakefield for residents who would otherwise not be able to get past cordons on Eighty Eight Valley Rd, Totara Rd, Church Valley Rd and Bridge Valley Rd.

 

We ask that the community please be patient as we manage this.

 

Wakefield Evacuations

Reminder: All those who have evacuated are asked to register at Saxton Field Stadium, Stoke or ring 03 543 8400.

 

As a precautionary measure, nearby residents should be ready to evacuate. Anyone preparing to evacuate should:

  • Follow the fire safety tips below
  • Find any house pets (cats and dogs), bring them inside for the night
  • Leave cellphones on and charged overnight so you can receive alerts
  • If you see spot fires – dial 111 immediately
  • Prepare essential items such as food, clothing and medication to take should you need to evacuate

 

Fire safety tips

Below are some ways that you can reduce fire risk to your property:

  • Remove flammable items from around your house such as deck furniture, firewood and door mats.
  • Dampen dry areas around the house, especially where dry leaves could gather, such as gutters, decks, and making sure gaps are not open under the house.
  • Keep gutters clear.
  • Keep windows closed.

More information about rural fire safety and protecting you and your property can be found –

 

More information is available at www.nelsontasmancivildefence.co.nz

 

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 Newstalk ZB 1341AM and BrianFm radio at 105.6 FM.

Ends.

Media Contact:
Nelson Tasman Civil Defence and Emergency Management 
027 703 0409

Further updates will be provided as soon as it is available