Pigeon Valley Fire update 44 - 16:20 hours 12/02/2019

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Pigeon Valley Fire update 44 - 16:20 hours 12/02/2019


The State of Civil Defence Emergency has been extended for a further week. This will enable the emergency efforts to continue to be well resourced with support from all agencies and central government.


Fire update


Today the focus remained on identifying and tackling hotspots within the fire area. Today has seen around 70 firefighters, 9 helicopters and 13 heavy machines (excavators and dozers) in action.

Please remember there is a total fire ban in place throughout the region.


Access for residents


There is a large team from Fire and Emergency, Police and Civil Defence working on the conditional re-entry for the residents of the evacuated  Valleys.
This is a much more complex process, because these properties have all been affected by the fire – either directly or by their proximity. Our decision to allow residents conditional re-entry is based on risk and safety considerations, including the fire itself, the weather, and the ability of emergency services to evacuate people again quickly and safely.
We cannot currently confirm when the conditional re-entry process for the Valleys residents will begin but this afternoon our specialist teams will be starting the risk assessment checks for each property – and there are about 200 properties to look at individually, so this will take some time.
Ban on use of outdoor machinery
A reminder that using outdoor machinery is currently prohibited. This applies to all of Nelson and most of the Tasman region.
We have been receiving reports of people continuing to operate equipment that they shouldn’t or who are unclear of their responsibilities. We need everybody to observe these restrictions. 
Prohibited activities include all those where metal meets stone like mowing, discing, harrowing, stump grinding and cultivation. Outdoor activities that can generate sparks or fire are also prohibited and include gas cutting, welding, angle grinding and all use of chainsaws and scrub or bar cutters.
Activities on bare earth, pavement, seal or hard inflammable surfaces are permitted.
Where there is pressurised fire control available or activities are not generating fire risk – like horticultural spraying or stock feeding – work can continue.
We are working on more detailed guidance on how these restrictions apply to individuals, property owners, and our farming community – this will offer people direction on what they can and can’t do. We will update you again in the next few days about this.


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.


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

Further updates will be provided as soon as it is available.