Firefighting crews continued containment efforts for the Nelson-Tasman wildfire on Thursday, February 7. The wildfire, which started Tuesday, February 5, has destroyed 1900 hectares (4695 acres) and one home as of Thursday morning (local time). Evacuation orders remain in effect for areas to the west of Nelson. A second fire began on Rabbit Island, though firefighters quickly extinguished that blaze. However, Rabbit Island and Rough Island remain closed to the public as of Thursday.
The Nelson fire began near Pigeon Valley (Tasman district) around 14:00 on Tuesday, with local officials declaring a state of emergency on Wednesday, February 6. The region has seen minimal rain since October 2018.
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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