Pigeon Valley Fire Update 27 - 14:30 hours 10/02/2019

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Pigeon Valley Fire Update 27 - 14:30 hours 10/02/2019


Reminder: A state of emergency is still in place

Media advisory

  • A media stand up will be held at 4pm at Tasman District Council
  • An Emergency Directive was issued this morning prohibiting activities that could spark a fire.
  • FENZ is carrying out a controlled burn-off in Redwood Valley today to create a fire break
  • NZDF is running convoys through Wakefield for through traffic only, until 6pm tonight.
  • There is a total fire ban in place for Nelson-Tasman.
  • People are encouraged to support the effort through the Mayor's Relief Fund

An emergency directive was issued this morning to prohibit activities that could increase the risk of fire breaking out in both Nelson and part of Tasman.  See the link below for details and map of the prohibited area.
Businesses adversely affected by this directive should contact the Ministry for Social Development for assistance on 0800 559 009.


We appreciate the efforts of the wider community to support the Civil Defence Effort and thank everyone who has stepped up to help. We are unable to respond individually. We are aware of several well-meaning people setting up independent fund-raising campaigns. Nelson Tasman Civil Defence has the Mayoral Relief Fund in place to accept donations and we encourage anyone who wants to support the effort to do so through this secure, official channel.

Community Meetings:
The next community meetings are:

  • 5.30pm Monday 11 February, Appleby School
  • 7.30pm Monday 11 February Hope Community Church Ranzau Road

Residents in the Wai-iti area have been asked to prepare to evacuate. Other areas on a prepare to evacuate notice are Sunrise Valley, Malling Road, Greenacres Road and parts of Teapot Valley. Check map details here

This is a precautionary measure to allow residents time to plan for an orderly departure, should it become necessary because of the progress of the fire. Anyone preparing to evacuate should: 

  • 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
  • Follow the fire safety tips below

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

Pigeon Valley fire
The burnt area at Pigeon Valley is currently assessed as 2,325 hectares, with a perimeter of 27km. 
There is some concern about predicted high winds this afternoon, which are expected to test the control lines.
 Resources in action:

  • 23 helicopters
  • 3 fixed-wing planes
  • 155 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.
  • 36 Incident Management staff

Sunday afternoon wind gusts are predicted to reach up to around 50km/h, which will heighten the fire danger.
Fire Emergency NZ has released the following information:

Pigeon Valley fires: Controlled burn-off in process around Redwood Valley
Residents in the Sunset Valley area may have noticed fire intensity (smoke activity) this morning as Fire and Emergency begins a controlled burn off as a method of fire suppression.

The controlled burn off will create a fire break 2.5 km long and 50m wide at the northern perimeter of the fire at the head of Redwood Valley, above Heines, Johnsons, and Cut Hill Roads. Fire and Emergency expect the controlled burn off to be complete by early afternoon.

This is a method used in New Zealand and internationally to supress large vegetation fires to starve the fire of fuel to create a firebreak.
This method is being carried out and by highly experienced operators after careful analysis of predicted and actual fire conditions (weather and environment), and after rigorous risk assessment and analysis of this option.

Fire and Emergency Incident Controller, John Sutton is very experienced with this method in New Zealand and overseas. This morning, he determined this would be the right course of action to control fire in this particular location.
Media enquiries:

Walters Bluff fire

The fire area was confirmed at 9.6ha with a 1.6km perimeter. This fire was still active this morning with smoke rising from the site and a further aircraft was dispatched. The fire is under control with monitoring. The fire is considered suspicious.

Animal Welfare
The Ministry for Primary Industries is working with the SPCA, Massey University Response Team to look after animals from the affected areas. The welfare of animals in these areas is their top priority.
·       MPI have teams conducting animal relocations or evacuations.
·       There is a team caring for evacuated animals at the Richmond Showgrounds animal welfare centre where there is housing, food, water and blankets.  
·       MPI teams are also going beyond the cordon, when it is safe enough to do so, to check on animals and make sure they have enough water and are not suffering.  
·       If you are worried about your animals in the fire affected area you can contact MPI on 0800 008 333 (option 4).
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 new safer speed limit of 80kph has been introduced on the Kohatu detour route. Please obey this limit for everybody’s safety.  

NZDF is managing a convoy through Wakefield SH 6 between 8am and 6pm today, Sunday 10 February, for passing through only, no stops are allowed.
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.

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 –


Donations from members of the public
Two charities are taking donations from members of the public to support people affected by the fire near Wakefield:

  1. Tasman District Council Mayoral relief fund (tasman.govt.nz)
  2. Red Cross

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.


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

Further updates will be provided as soon as it is available