Nelson fire live updates: Day 6

11:00 pm on 10 February 2019

Police want to identify three young men they say were seen near the Walter's Bluff or Atawhai fire in Nelson on Friday.

Two fires separate from the main Tasman bushfire - this one and a Rabbit Island fire on Waitangi Day - are suspected to have been deliberately lit.

Police said three Pākehā men aged between 16 and 20 were seen on a bench on the Centre of New Zealand track in close proximity to Iwa Road, about 1.30pm on Friday.

Meanwhile, Nelson Tasman Civil Defence has announced tonight that Wakefield escorted convoys will run from 6am tomorrow.

The escorted convoys along State Highway 6 through Wakefield will run for extended hours on weekdays, starting tomorrow, as long as conditions are appropriate.

The convoys will run through to 7pm on demand. This service is for local residents only to provide access for school and work, Civil Defence says.

No stopping and no deviations will be allowed - it is to allow people to commute. SH6 at Wakefield remains closed.

Evacuees in Nelson and Tasman will have to stay out of their homes for several more days, despite better conditions in the fire zone today.

It had been feared winds of 45-kilometres an hour would test control lines and threaten property, but so far they have reached only 20km/h.

During this afternoon's Civil Defence briefing, Nelson Tasman Civil Defence group controller, Roger Ball, said on the whole the day had gone pretty well.

"However I emphasize that the overall assessment is that the risk remains high and residents of all evacuated areas should expect to be out of their homes for some days to come.

"We will of course continue to assess the situation constantly and we will update residents and the community with information as it comes to hand."

Mr Ball said the focus of the afternoon has been to allow residents access to their properties in the four valleys - Teapot, Sunrise, Pigeon Valley and Eves.

About 3000 people have already been evacuated from Wakefield and the Eves, Teapot, Redwood and Pigeon valleys but emergency services have put 400 residents of Wai-iti on notice for possible further evacuations today.

There is a ban on the use of machinery that might strike a spark. Prohibited activities include harrowing, gas cutting, welding and all use of chainsaws and scrub cutters.

Residents with animals on the south side of the cordoned area are advised to join a special livestock convoy to take them to the Richmond showgrounds.

Essential information:

  • People forcibly or voluntarily evacuating the area are asked to please take water, food, medicines, pets and valuables and asked to register at Saxton Field Stadium, Stoke or ring 03 543 8400.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest information from Tasman Civil Defence on their social page.
  • View an interactive map of the area with estimated fire size, closures, evacuation zones. Disclaimer: for official public information see Tasman Civil Defence.
  • If evacuation is necessary a text alert will be sent out.
  • Nelson City Council has closed reserves and tracks
  • 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. Anyone with a medical, welfare or other need are asked to reach out for support.
  • Health and welfare, stress or anxiety: Care for those around you, including neighbours and especially the ill and elderly and those who live alone. For medical help contact your GP first or emergency department for emergencies. Talking can be therapeutic. Further advice from Nelson Marlborough DHB.
  • If you want to donate to the Mayoral Relief fund, please use the following details: Tasman District Council, ASB Bank Ltd, Nelson Commercial Banking; account number: 12-3193-0002048-03
  • Need to move animals? A centre for the care of horses, cattle, sheep and goats is available at the A&P showgrounds. There is a centre for companion animals like pets at the Civil Defence Centre at St Johns Church
  • If you are nearby and safe and would like to share pictures, video, newstips with us, please email it:

Check this map for basic information, but do not rely on it for accuracy if you are in the area

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