Tasman Fire: High winds scupper plans for valley residents' homecoming

9:15 am on 16 February 2019

High winds mean the residents of 14 properties in the fire-affected Pigeon Valley in Tasman won't be able to return home today as planned.

No caption

Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

Restricted residential access to other properties has also been cancelled.

Wind gusts have already reached just over 80km/h at the fire zone this morning, Civil Defence controller Angus McKay said.

That made it too risky to allow people into the area, he said.

"We have been watching weather and wind conditions closely overnight and, together with Fire and Emergency New Zealand, have made the call to suspend restricted access today.

"The risk of significant flare-ups and our ability to evacuate people at short notice has been the primary consideration behind making this decision."

Police and the defence force will be maintaining cordons in the area.

Fire and Emergency will be monitoring the fire zone closely and responding to any flare-ups and hot spots, Mr McKay said.

People who are already back in their homes are being reminded to be vigilant and be prepared to evacuate again at short notice.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs