Pigeon Valley Fire update 42 - 10:15 hours 12/02/2019

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Pigeon Valley Fire update 42 - 10:15 hours 12/02/2019


Civil Defence Centre relocation
The Richmond Civil Defence Centre, which had been based at Saxton Field Stadium, has now relocated to the Richmond New Life Church at 85 Wensley Road. The centre will be open from 8 am until 7 pm daily and will remain open as long as needed. It is the place to go to ask questions and find out about services available to people affected by the fire.

Fire update
Fire and Emergency New Zealand crews had a good night last night with favourable weather conditions. Today they will be focussing their efforts on identifying and tackling hotspots, and are likely to remain for some weeks, within the fire area.
Today they have around 150 staff working on the ground, 9 helicopters and 13 heavy machines (excavators and dozers).

Conditional re-entry
Work continues today to assess the possibility of conditional re-entry to the remaining evacuated areas. The planning and assessment of this is a complex process.
Factors that need to be considered and balanced include:

  • Current weather forecast
  • Fire Behaviour
  • Availability of emergency personnel
  • The condition of infrastructure within the fire damaged areas
  • Geotechnical risks due to fire damage
  • Damage around driveways affecting access to properties

The time it would take to evacuate the area versus the predicted speed the fire could spread is also a crucial consideration. More details will be available as soon as more research has been done. We appreciate people are extremely keen to get home but the situation is everchanging and safety must come first.

Iwi support
Iwi leaders from the eight Top of the South iwi are in Nelson Tasman today to support the fire response.
They visited the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Emergency Operations Centre in Richmond for orientation within their rohe (area of influence).
Iwi Liaison Manager Barney Thomas said it was an opportunity for iwi to understand the contributions being made from within the region and around New Zealand.
The eight iwi with rohe are Ngati Tama, Te Atiawa, Ngata Toa, Ngata Rarua, Ngata Koata, Rangi Tane, Ngati Kuia and Ngata Apa.
Whakatu Marae in Nelson has been providing emergency accommodation for evacuees and the Te Awina Marae and Te Hora are both still on standby.
Iwi will be providing cultural support to MPI staff and animal owners today.
The ongoing level of iwi support will also be discussed with Sarah Stuart-Black, Director of Civil Defence, later today.

Weather forecast
Fine and sunny.
Wind: Light winds at first (mainly southwest) becoming north to northwest 10-20km/hr towards midday.  A change during the afternoon (1-3pm) to westerly 20-35km/hr, then tending to southwest 25-40km/hr by evening ( 4-6pm) with possible gusts of 50km/hr in exposed places. 
Southwesterlies easing to 15-25km/hr tonight.
Precipitation: Nil.
Temperature: 18-20C rising to a maximum of 25-27C this afternoon, then
lowering to 18-20C tonight. 
Humidity: 70-80%, lowering to 50-60% this afternoon with the westerly, then
rising back to 70-80% tonight. 


Animal Welfare
The Ministry for Primary Industries has been working with the SPCA National Rescue Unit, Massey University, HUHANZ on a coordinated animal welfare response to the fires.

There are currently around 700 animals at the Richmond Showgrounds in the care of MPI, SPCA, HUHANZ and other fantastic volunteers.

Animal welfare officers were posted at the cordons at each of the four valleys that were evacuated as residents were allowed into their properties to check on their animals.

Where needed, officers and vets have visited properties to assess concerns for those residents and arrange resources i.e. water and extra feed. Officers have also been working with property owners who have contacted MPI to ask for help.

If you need more information about animal welfare, or have concerns about animals affected by the fire:

  • MPI is providing regular updates about the animal welfare response to the Tasman Fires on its website, here:www.mpi.govt.nz/tasman-fires. You can subscribe to receive updates straight to your inbox, here.
  • Federated Farmers has opened its Feedline to support farmers who have been affected by the fires and need extra feed or grazing for their animals. Farmers who are short of feed, or who have feed to donate, can contact Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646.
  • The Rural Support Trust (RST) is also available to support farmers, growers and others in the rural sector. They provide free and confidential support, advice and referrals, including health, finances and more. RST can be contacted on 0800 787 254.


Public health
The Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service regularly updates its advice on health issues related to smoke, potential water contamination, mental health and wellbeing and other topics related to the fire.

This information, along with information about where to get healthcare and how to help children at this time, is on the NMH public website homepage here.

Current road closures
There is no change to the existing road closures at this time. 

For ongoing weather alert updates please go to www.metservice.com or 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.