2019 Nelson fires
The 2019 Nelson fires are wildfires in Nelson and Tasman District, New Zealand, still burning as of 21 February 2019. Two separate fires, twenty kilometres apart, started on the afternoon of 5 February 2019. Three thousand residents of Wakefield were evacuated as a result of the Pigeon Valley fire.
|2019 Nelson fires|
Map showing the location of Pigeon Valley in red, nearby Wakefield and Nelson
|Location||Nelson and Tasman District, New Zealand|
|Date(s)||5 February 2019 —|
|Burned area||2,300 ha (Feb 9)|
By 9 February 2019, the Pigeon Valley fire was being described as the country's largest since 1955. Also, with 22 helicopters involved, it is New Zealand's largest aerial firefight on record. The fire caused 3,000 people to evacuate their homes and destroyed one house.
On 17 February 2019, a helicopter crashed while fighting the fire in Tasman district, injuring the pilot.
The final group of about 230 residents evacuated from the Pigeon Valley fire near Nelson were permitted to return to their homes on 21 February. The fire was not completely out and their return was on the understanding that they might be required to leave again at short notice.
- Alison Bevege (February 9, 2019), New Zealand wildfires show no sign of easing, 3,000 flee, Reuters
- "Tasman fires: Nelson, Wakefield evacuated; Pigeon Valley residents must leave homes as fears wind may fan blaze". The New Zealand Herald. 8 February 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
- "Nelson bush fire live updates: Region in biggest air firefight on record". The New Zealand Herald. 9 February 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
- 3,000 evacuated from New Zealand fire could soon return home, Associated Press, February 11, 2019 – via KDWN
- "Nelson bush fire: Helicopter crashes fighting fires in Tasman district". Stuff.co.nz. 17 February 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- "Last Nelson wildfire evacuees allowed to return to their homes". Stuff.co.nz. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.