INDEPENDENT NEWS

Winds sink Tasman residents' hopes of returning home

Published: Mon 18 Feb 2019 10:48 AM
Jonathan Mitchell, in Richmond
Some Tasman residents will not be able to return to their homes today because of forecast strong winds.
Residents still affected by the Nelson bush fire were briefed by officials at the Hope Community Church yesterday. Photo: RNZ
Yesterday, 14 Pigeon Valley households headed back for good, but must be on alert to leave if the big fire flares up again.
Some other properties in Redwood Valley, Eves Valley and Teapot Valley had restricted access from 8am until 2pm yesterday. However, authorities said this morning there would be no restricted access again today because of fears over the winds.
"We understand that this will be a disappointment for many residents, however, safety is the paramount consideration," Civil Defence Controller Roger Ball said.
He said the situation would be reassessed tomorrow.
Afternoon tea was laid on for those residents seeking
an update on returning to their homes. Photo: RNZRedwood Valley residents Ian and Maureen Grage have been out of their home since the fire began and are staying with friends in Nelson.
They, along with about 30 other affected residents, were at a meeting at the Hope Community Church yesterday.
Mr Grage said it was great to get back yesterday - even for just a few hours - and be assured everything was okay.
"There's a bit of smoke up there, not a lot though, it's not too bad ... in fact, you could stand there and you wouldn't think anything had happened until you look over in the distance," he said.
Mr Grage hoped the weather gods would bring some much needed rain.
"Hope for this week is to go home ... the other hope we have is it rains at the weekend," he said.
He said their four chickens were doing fine and had eight eggs waiting for them yesterday.
Mrs Grage said she wanted to get back to the comfort of home.
"You don't realise how much you do miss your home when you're out of it," she said.
She said she felt she was in limbo.
"I've had enough excitement for now."
Overall, more than 80 households still cannot return for good because of the fire danger.
RNZ
New Zealand's public broadcaster, providing comprehensive NZ news and current affairs, specialist audio features and documentaries.
Radio New Zealand is a Crown entity established under the Radio New Zealand Act 1995. Radio New Zealand News are vital elements in our programming, providing impartial news and information to New Zealanders every day. Radio New Zealand (RNZ) provides listeners with exciting and independent radio programmes in accordance with the Radio New Zealand Charter.

Next in Comment

News Deserts; The Death March of Local Journalism
By: Joseph Cederwall
Journalism Has a Problem - It’s Called Capitalism!
By: Joseph Cederwall
Gordon Campbell on why Justin Trudeau’s fate matters to NZ
By: Gordon Campbell
Venezuela; Oil, Neoliberalism and White Supremacy
By: Joseph Cederwall
War on in Al-Aqsa: What Price Netanyahu’s Victory
By: Ramzy Baroud
The End of ‘Objectivity’ in Journalism
By: Joseph Cederwall
NZME targets positive earnings from paywall in 2 years
By: BusinessDesk
On why we shouldn’t support the US-led coup in Venezuela
By: Gordon Campbell
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media