Moutere Highway Fire Update 2 - 17:15 hours 27/02/19

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Moutere Highway Fire Update 2 - 17:15 hours 27/02/19

Update on fire at Upper Moutere

A new fire that started this afternoon in the Redwood Valley area, north-east of the existing Pigeon Valley fire ground, has slowed and been stopped at the grass at the foot of the gully where the fire began.

The fire is in standing pine heading into grassland and is currently approximately five hectares in size. Up to 16 appliances and support vehicles (pumps and tankers) have been called to the site, along with seven helicopters and two bulldozers.

Winds and low humidity today meant conditions for fire risk were heightened, resulting in challenging fire conditions.

Crews are confident that fire is slowing and they have been able to gain a decent foothold in fighting it. A combination of the ability to move crews and resources quickly from Pigeon Valley fire and the downhill direction of the initial blaze have been the determining factor in the current containment of the fire.

There is still work to do with the helicopters operating until nightfall with crews and machinery on the fireground overnight. A firebreak is being bulldozed on three sides and with the fourth side being the road, the fire should be encircled shortly.

With the current progress and teams on the ground, the incident management team believe there will be no need for further evacuations.

If you feel unsafe or threatened, it is sensible to self-evacuate as a precaution. Anyone who self-evacuates should register with the Welfare Centre at New Life Church, 85 Wensley Road, Richmond.

The first call to emergency services was received at 1.18pm. We are maintaining cover for local stations in the event they need to respond to any other events.

Fire and Emergency NZ has received a lot of calls from the public about the fire and we thank the public for their vigilance. 

Nearby residents should go to the Tasman-Marlborough Fire Area Facebook page for updates.

Fire investigation is underway.