Tasman fire 'still the boss' on day nine

The fire is still the boss in Nelson.

Fire crews are still dealing with flare-ups and trying to secure containment lines, while a new chopper video shot during the height of the blaze shows just how ferocious the flames were.

Duncan Gourley filmed it while flying head-first into the huge wall of orange smoke in search of flames below.

"[It was] fairly impressive; the fire was doing pretty big runs, a lot of smoke and ash," he said.

He spent 12 hours a day in the cockpit for two days, speeding through the thick acrid smoke lit up by the afternoon sun in the race to beat back the blaze below.

This battle continues in the air as we move into day nine. A flare upon Tuesday night saw flames jump 30m-wide containment lines, reminding authorities the danger is still not over.

"This is the fire still telling us it's still the boss, it's still ruling us," Trevor Mitchell of Fire and Emergency NZ told media.

"The fire's still not contained and we've still got quite a lot of work to do."

Every night when helicopters are grounded, drones take over, heading up into the sky and mapping hot spots to collect vital information.

"If you don't find them during this time, you'll stand on them in the carpet, find the needle a bit later that's set fire somewhere outside the boundaries," says Urban Search and Rescue drone manager Jeff Maunder.

"The fire has so far burned through 2400 hectares, damaging about half of Tim Hunt's Eves Valley farm. His family still waiting until it is safe to go home, as their house was just metres from the flames.

"I think the helicopter pilots on the night just doused all our houses, soaked all the land immediately around it," he said.

An army of volunteers in high-vis vests continued the mammoth task of feeding emergency services, volunteers and evacuated residents.

"People are just coming in during the day, they come in for meals," one volunteer said.

Those who can't make it in get a special delivery, such as the elderly out at Wakefield.

The Nelson community is taking charge, following the lead set by the heroic firefighters, both on the ground and high up in the air.