Firefighters battling Tasman fire to stay until March

Firefighters will be working on the massive Tasman blaze that has been burning since Tuesday well into March. 

Civil Defence briefed media on Monday morning giving an update on the Pigeon Valley fire that has now grown to 2300 hectares. 

Fire and Emergency regional manager John Sutton says despite progress firefighters will be working on the fire "well into March".

"We are making significant progress and getting through yesterday, I've got the feeling were starting to turn a corner."

He says there is still an 'enormous' amount of heat in the fire and hundreds of hectares within the perimeter that haven't burnt.

"Although I sense we're turning a corner, there will be firefighters working on that fire well into March." 

Temperatures are expected to rise this week and winds changing from a northerly to a southerly flow are a concern.

The state of emergency currently in place is due to expire at 8am on Wednesday, a decision will be made whether to extend it or not on Tuesday, Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Controller Roger Ball says. 

Civil Defence is actively working on a plan for evacuated Wakefield resident to re-enter. They will let residents know when and under what conditions that will happen. If residents do return they will have to be prepared to evacuate again if conditions worsen, Mr Ball says. 

Restricted access is continuing for residents in all four valleys - Pigeon, Redwood, Teapot and Eves.

A total fire and machinery ban remains in place in Nelson.

The Ministry for Primary Industries evacuated 200 birds from Wakefield on Sunday. Animals are being homed at the Richmond Showgrounds and MPI is asking people to stay away from the animals if they have no business to be there.

MPI says it is causing unnecessary stress for the animals. 

Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne says the report and work of emergency services is encouraging and they are doing all they can to get people back into their homes.