Minister: Nelson firefighters working hard to 'put the bloody thing out'

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Sunday, 10 February 2019, 4:09p.m.
The fire is currently in its sixth day. (Photo / NZ Herald)

A close watch remains on the wind in the Tasman district.

There were fears winds forecast this afternoon could fan the flames of the Pigeon Valley fire.

Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi told the Weekend Collective that hasn't eventuated yet.

"Obviously, there's still a fair bit of time in the day to go but what I have seen in the emergency operations centre today is that they are well prepared for that, and they did a good job of pushing back to the front lines of the fire last night."

Faafoi warns that roots of trees are still burning underground.

"And that's one of the big risks, and one of the things that the public might need to better understand, is that while it might look like things have calmed down, the fire is still very active. You just can't see it."

He says that this isn't just one fire, it is made up of multiple fires, making the fire-fighting effort more difficult. 

Faafoi says that they have a huge number of police, fire, and civil defence crew that are taking part. 

"We're pretty comfortable that we are rolling people through." 

He believes that morale remains high, saying that staff are "buggered" at the end of the day but they are motivated to put the fire out. 

The burnt-over area at Pigeon Valley covers 2300 hectares, with a perimeter of 27 kilometres.