State of emergency extended in Tasman

Mayor Richard Kempthorne. Photo: Tasman District Council
Mayor Richard Kempthorne. Photo: Tasman District Council

The state of emergency in the Nelson-Tasman region has been extended for another week amid ongoing bush fires.

Fire and Emergency, Police, Civil Defence and other agencies involved in the response made the decision today.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne said: “The situation still requires a greater response than we could manage without all the assistance of the other agencies.

“We currently still have 250 people evacuated from their homes and there are over 3500 who are in a continuous state of alert, prepared to evacuate again at short notice.”

A Civil Defence statement said all agencies were very aware that people have now been out of their homes for two weeks.

This was leading to anxiety and stress, not to mention the economic impact on many, it said.

“Everyone has been actively planning for the day when we can allow residents to return home for more than a few hours.

“That involves a continuous assessment of risks, including the fire, the weather and the ability of our emergency services and Defence Force personnel to get people out safely and quickly if the situation deteriorates,” controller Roger Ball said.

“I am very pleased to say that we are working towards a conditional re-entry for the residents of Teapot, Eves and Redwood Valleys from Thursday morning. This will be on the same basis as the other returned residents – that they remain ready to evacuate again at very short notice.

“Getting these Valley residents back to their properties is more complex than when we were able to get the Wakefield residents home. The Redwood, Teapot and Eves Valleys have all been directly affected by the fire.

“We will be offering a detailed briefing for the Valley residents at tomorrow evening’s community meeting at the Hope Community Church, and I encourage as many as possible to attend this.”

The community meeting will be held tomorrow from 6pm at the Hope Community Church in Ranzau Rd.

Important health and safety information for anyone returning home would be discussed.

For anyone unable to attend the meeting, it would be live streamed on the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Facebook page.

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