Hope that remaining Tasman fire evacuees can go home for good

12:58 pm on 20 February 2019

The remaining Tasman fire evacuees are being given hope they can return home fully tomorrow.

Nelson fire, aerial view over Eves Valley, Pidgeon Valley and Redwood Valley.

An aerial view over Eves Valley, Pigeon Valley and Redwood Valley as a helicopter battles the blaze in its earlier stages. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Meanwhile, residents of 84 evacuated properties in Teapot, Eves and Redwood Valleys can go back home on restricted access for eight hours today, until 4pm this afternoon.

Nelson Tasman Civil Defence has advised full re-entry will take place tomorrow, if the conditions are safe enough.

Controller Alec Louverdis said planning was continuing for the conditional re-entry but as with other re-entries, households would have to be prepared to evacuate again at short notice.

"Erratic winds remain an issue for the fire teams on the ground," Civil Defence said in a social media post.

"The local risk from Cyclone Oma has lessened but we are monitoring a front moving up from the south which could have an effect on our operations.

"We are well researched at the moment, working on what we need for coming days and thank the community for their support."

Any residents needing trades staff, insurance assessors or other advisors to visit their properties today should contact the Tasman District Council, Civil Defence said.

A community meeting, information session and health and safety briefing is being held for residents tonight at 6pm at the Hope Community Church in Ranzau Rd.

Civil Defence said Fire and Emergency New Zealand teams were beginning physical assessments of properties in the Pigeon, Eves, Teapot and Redwood Valleys today.

"They will be determining any adverse effects the Pigeon Valley fire has had on residents' properties.

"These personnel will be wearing uniforms and driving in clearly marked vehicles."