Tasman fire: Farmers counting the cost of the blaze

Farmers in Tasman are starting to count the cost of the massive blazes now into their sixth day.

The Pigeon Valley fire has now grown to 2300 hectares, with many residents evacuated.

Dave Richards, who farms 120 hectares on Redwood Valley Rd, has had almost half of his farm cordoned off due to the fire. 

He said farmers are relieved to have been allowed in to check on livestock after being kept away.

"We we were very frustrated - it took a long time to get permission to get in," he said. "The stock had been checked, but hadn't been managed to the level we would have liked."

Mr Richards said farmers have been busy moving stock.

"We had to move lambs out of the valley and away from the fire area."

Some farmers voiced their frustration at a meeting of evacuees.
Some farmers voiced their frustration at a meeting of evacuees. Photo credit: Newshub

Another farmer, who has had three-quarters of his farm burnt, is believed to be amongst the hardest hit.

"He had to get his lambs out, but he will now have no feed for his stock."

Mr Richards said the fire and lack of food could impact on stock later.

"Especially pregnant cows - some are only three weeks from calving, so they need to be fed correctly."

He said it could cause problems at calving, or even death.

While the blaze has been stressful, he said it has brought the community together.

"We are all pulling together, pulling resources and helping each other as much as we can."

Meanwhile animal welfare authorities are continuing to check on livestock.

MPI animal welfare inspector Gary Dixon said they are making sure stock have access to food and water, and are in good condition.

He said it's important to be able to report back to farmers, and take the stress off them.

"Many are worried about fire damage to paddocks and stock," he said.

"Our job is to go in first and look at the animals and report back to farmers so they are fully aware of what they are going back into," said Mr Dixon.

He said the main health risks for stock are dehydration and injury.