Local New Zealand authorities declared a state of emergency for the South Island city of Nelson and its surrounding areas at 08:00 (local time) on Wednesday, February 6, as a wildfire continues to spread nearby. The fire started around 14:00 on Tuesday, February 5, in Pigeon Valley and as of Wednesday morning has consumed approximately 1870 hectares (4620 acres). Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect to the west of Nelson and include more than 100 homes. No flights were disrupted at Nelson Airport (NSN) as of 11:20 on Wednesday, according to Air New Zealand. No injuries have been reported, though several buildings have been destroyed. Containment efforts began on Tuesday evening and are ongoing.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. road closures, evacuation notices, etc.), and anticipate maintain flexible travel itineraries. Children and those with chronic respiratory illnesses are advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
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