“Women's and babies’ lives are at risk and we want action,” says Penny Mudford, Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) national chair.
The fire has covered about 1600 hectares with a perimeter of 23 km. Over 200 homes have been evacuated since Tuesday, affecting 400 residents.
Rural Women NZ (RWNZ) is calling on residents to keep themselves, their families and pets safe by ensuring that they make use of the emergency services at hand and support one another emotionally.
“Unforeseen and tragic situations like this can have a heartbreaking impact on the places we call home and the communities that define us,” says national board member and Nelson resident, Sue Higgins.
“It is essential that people in the region continue to utilise the tremendous efforts being made by the agencies on the ground- Fire and Emergency New Zealand, NZ Police, Civil Defence, Red Cross, Work and Income, the Rural Support Trust and the SPCA.”
“Be kind to one another, be proactive, be careful and, most importantly, be aware of anybody in the community that is alone during this ongoing civil defense emergency,” urges Higgins.
“If you are not affected by the fire, please support those in financial need by buying Aftersocks or RWNZ Peg Bags from www.ruralwomen.org.nz, the proceeds of which go directly to the RWNZ Adverse Events Relief Fund.”
The Civil Defence Centre at St John’s Church, Wakefield reopened at 8am this morning in order to provide information and accommodation to residents in need.
Nelson Tasman Civil Defense is requesting that all residents who have evacuated or self-evacuated register at the Centre, or call 03 543 8400 to register by phone.
The Rural Support Trust is also available to those in need.