TODAY |

'Telling us it's still the boss' - Tasman fire breaks containment line near Eves Valley

The massive fire burning in the Tasman region has broken a containment line near Eves Valley last night as water restrictions come into place.

Today Fire and Emergency NZ's Trevor Mitchell said yesterday there was an increase in fire behaviour, then about midnight a breach of a containment line happened, but firefighters got it under control quickly.

"This is the fire telling us it's still the boss, it's ruling us," Mr Mitchell said.

The fire was not yet contained and crew have a lot of work to do, he said.

The fire is now spanning 2400 hectares and has a perimeter of 33 kilometres.

Firefighters are hoping for favourable weather conditions, but the forecast was for temperatures to rise and wind to pick up by Friday, Mr Mitchell said.

Civil Defence Nelson and Tasman group controller Roger Ball said, "A lot of people are working hard in hot, dangerous conditions. "You do an amazing job."

A firefighter who was taken to hospital with dehydration yesterday is recovering well.

Authorities were still working with a priority on re-entry for Eves Valley, Teapot Valley and Redwood Valley residents and there would be an update on the plan at a community meeting at Hope Church at 7pm today, Mr Ball said. Those who have conditional entry to Wakefield have had no issues.

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne sympathised with those in the affected Valley areas wanting to get home, he too had a brother who lived in the area, but said safety and managing the risks was paramount.

Water restrictions

Separate to the fire, the Waimea River was critically low and a water shortage is looming for the Waimea Plains and the Motupiko area, he said.

The extreme fire risk reflects drought conditions in the region.

Businesses connected to the Tasman District Council’s reticulated network would have to cut their water use by 25 per cent from Monday, Mr Kempthorne said.

"We are acutely aware the extended restrictions are going to have a significant impact on our community," Tasman District Council Dry Weather Taskforce convenor Dennis Bush-King said in a statement. "We have not taken this step lightly but we are in serious drought conditions and the need to conserve water now requires some big sacrifices to be made."

The massive blaze is now 2400 hectares after breaking a containment line overnight. Source: 1 NEWS