Thursday, 7 February 2019

State of Emergency announced in Nelson as conditions turn for the worse

Nelson fire live updates: Evacuations in Teapot Valley

7 February, 2019

Teapot Valley south of Nelson is being evacuated as firefighters battle to bring the fires in the area under control.

Fire crews have been working continuously to try and contain the large fire in Nelson that broke out on Tuesday afternoon.

Nelson council said evacuations are now underway in the west side of Teapot Valley, affecting about 25 properties.

The council said the evacuations were a precautionary measure because of the increased fire intensity seen this afternoon.

More than 200 properties have been evacuated overall, affecting about 400 residents. One home has been lost and several others damaged by the fire's intense heat.

Cordons remain in place at a number of locations

What you need to know:

  • Civil defence emergency declared 8am Wednesday by Nelson, Tasman mayors
  • Properties evacuated: At least 182 homes have been confirmed as evacuated. Teapot Valley is now being evacuated with about 25 properties affected.
  • Rabbit Island fire is out and an investigation into the cause is underway
  • If people evacuate and leave their homes it is asked they register with the Civil Defence Centre at St Johns Church, Edwards St in Wakefield or ring Civil Defence 03 5437290 to register they have moved and are safe. This is important to ensure everyone is accounted for and safe.
  • Civil Defence Centre at St John’s Church, Wakefield remains open this afternoon but will close from 8pm today and reopen at 8am tomorrow unless there is a change to the current situation
  • Road closures / cordons: Pigeon Valley Road at fire station to the last driveway before seal n Dovedale (approx. 381 Dovedale Road), Moutere Highway from Redwood Rd to Waimea West Road intersection, Eves Valley Road, Teapot Road, Golden Hills Road at Moutere Highway intersection, Golden Hills Road at Challies Road intersection, Intersection of Redwood Valley Road and Redwood Valley Lane, Green Acres Road.
  • Dwindling water supplies, wind and drought are adding to problems faced by firefighters
  • Feel in danger? People who feel in danger should call 111. If you or your family and friends in the affected areas need assistance, contact Nelson Tasman Civil Defence.
  • If you are nearby and safe and would like to share pictures, video, newstips with us, please email it:

Teapot Valley evacuees: 'It’s pretty ominous really'

RNZ reporter Alex Ashton told Checkpoint there was a steady stream of cars going in and out of the area that's being evacuated, at Teapot Valley road.
He said one resident was escorted back in to get her horse.

Resident Simon Marshall, inside the cordon, first evacuated on Tuesday but had since returned inside the cordon.

He old checkpoint it looked like the smoke was about 1km away at most from his property.

It’s pretty ominous really, it’s a bit of a serious sight that’s for sure.

It’s definitely coming closer. There’s a lot of helicopters running here at the moment, to the extent I just saw on queuing, waiting behind another helicopter before it dropped down to pick up water with a monsoon water out of a pond here.

There’s a bit of a breeze, not a strong breeze but it’s a hot day. The smoke looks like there’s something roaring away there just over the ridge."

Fire 'roaring away' in Teapot Valley
Radio N

Feb 7, 2019 5:23 PM

Teapot Valley is being evacuated

Further evacuations are underway in the west side of Teapot Valley, with about 25 properties affected.

Civil Defence said this was a precautionary measure because of the increased fire intensity and increased wind and humidity this afternoon.

Police are assisting with evacuation and Red Cross are on the ground to support residents.
For more information on evacuation you can go here.

The Civil Defence Centre at St John’s Church, Wakefield will now remain open until 8 pm this evening. The Centre can provide welfare information and help with accommodation for those who need it and also accept pets.

All residents who have evacuated or self-evacuated are asked to register. For those who can’t make it to the centre, or don’t need additional assistance please call 03 543 8400 to register by phone.

Residents are advised to take animals with them. Some stock can be accommodated at the Richmond Showgrounds.

Horses, sheep and goats can be accommodated in empty stables – use the Campground Gate to the Showgrounds and follow the road to the stable blocks.

For sheep and cattle – please call the contact centre on 03 543 8400 for arrangements for you to get access to the racecourse oval to accommodate them.

Current fire danger levels ‘at highest in nearly 20 years’

Fire scientist Grant Pearce, from Scion Rural Fire Research Group, said the Nelson region had a history of significant forest fires.
The 1981 Hira fire occurred at a similar time of year (5 February), and is closest in size to the current event.”
The region also experiences 9-10 days per year on average of very high and extreme forest fire danger, Mr Pearce said.
However, in a bad fire season as many as 16-17 days of very high and extreme fire danger may occur. This year alone, Nelson has seen seven days of very high, and eight days of extreme forest fire danger, since the beginning of January, with the recent heatwave being a major contributor to this.
Fire managers have reported that current fire danger levels are the highest they’ve seen in almost 20 years and NIWA’s soil moisture maps are showing significant soil moisture deficits across the region.”
He said that Nelson, as well as other parts of the country, were likely to see more of these types of wildfire events in future with climate change becoming more prominent.
"Modelling of potential future changes in fire danger indicates that the number of severe fire weather days is likely to increase in many parts of the country.
This includes the Nelson region, where the number of days of very high and extreme forest fire danger could increase to more like 12-13 days per year on average, and maybe 20-25 days in the worst years, with climate change.”

State of Emergency as Nelson fire continues to rage

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who arrived in Nelson today, says the emergency response is well co-ordinated, and has assured authorities on the ground more resources are available should they need them.

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