Tasman fire: Evacuated Wakefield residents could return home

Civil Defence is planning to let evacuated Wakefield residents back into their homes before nightfall. 

Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Controller Roger Ball says they plan to let residents return home from 5pm on Monday pending weather conditions. 

Civil Defence will decide by 4pm on Monday if Wakefield residents will be allowed to return home. 

Residents should prepare to return home but not to move back until the final decision is approved. 

In total, roughly around 3000 people from 1000 homes have been evacuated. 

Police will remain in the area overnight to give assurance to the community. People who are not Wakefield residents are urged to stay away from the town. 

Residents are also urged to be prepared to evacuate again if conditions worsen. 

Civil Defence is also working to return residents in all four valleys - Pigeon, Redwood, Teapot and Eves.

However Civil Defence is not yet sure when that will happen but said that won't be on Monday.  

Fire and Emergency New Zealand does not anticipate any elevated fire behaviour on Monday to the Pigeon Valley fire which has now grown to 2300 hectares.