Federated Farmers urges its membership and all others in the Nelson area to take extreme care to avoid risks to life and property as the fire from Pigeon Valley continues to rage on.
A state of emergency was declared for the Nelson-Tasman area.
According to the latest information at hand the fire now covers 1,870 hectares.
Feds Board Member and Fire spokesperson Karen William describes the situation as fast-moving and residents are advised to be prepared to evacuate as personal safety is paramount.
“If you are told to evacuate please follow those instructions. It may be heart-breaking having to leave your home and property, but you are ultimately what is valuable.”
“New Zealand is thinking about the hard-working volunteer and employed staff of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Civil Defence and residents of the Nelson region at this time.”
If the fire does make it to animal stocked farmland there are a few things to be aware of.
“Opening gates can be problematic as loose stock can be another serious hazard to responders. Herd them into wet areas, swamps etc, even Lucerne or worked (not sprayed paddocks) if practical. But please bear in mind each fire is different and this advice may not be practical for your particular situation.”
Feds understands an evacuation shelter has been set up at a local race course which was taking animals, particularly lifestyle block residents that have small numbers of stock.
TIPS TO REDUCE FIRE RISK ON YOUR PROPERTY – COURTESY OF SCION RURAL FIRE RESEARCH AND FEDERATED FARMERS
As the summer conditions are beginning to bite throughout New Zealand, there are some steps that farmers can undertake to reduce the fire risk on their farms over this period.
- Reduce the fire fuels on your property by mowing grass often or removing dead fuels from around your farm.
- Create a fire break around your property. If possible, maintain green laws and ensure paddocks around your farm buildings and yards are well grazed and not overgrown.
- Have a water source which can easily be accessed or is portable in the event of a fire or emergency and clearly indicated for emergency crews.
- Provide clear access to your farm for emergency vehicles if needed, remove overhanging trees and clear driveways if possible. Make sure your RAPID number is displayed in a place that is clearly visible for emergency vehicles.
- Know the fire risk in your area, know what the current fire dangers are and what the restrictions are in your area. You can do this by visiting www.checkitsalright.nz
- Create a fire plan for your family, livestock and assets, so you know what to do if the situation strikes.
Source: Federated Farmers