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Good afternoon Alan
In addition to the information that has been released to you previously, the other documentation we hold that falls within scope of your request, is as follows and attached.
<![if !supportLists]>1) <![endif]>a copy of a plan prepared by FENZ tracking the fire movement and the area at risk on 8 February.
<![if !supportLists]>2) <![endif]>A copy of the Controller handover notes for shift 6-7
<![if !supportLists]>3) <![endif]>Share file to SitReps 4, 5 and 6 which provide a record of how events developed.
We have referred your request for the FENZ advice to that organisation for comment, regarding its release. In light of this, it may not be possible to provide the balance of our response by the due date of 19 September. I will let you know the position nearer the time.
Kate Redgrove, Governance Advisor
DDI 03 543 8400 | [Tasman District Council request email]
Private Bag 4, Richmond 7050, NZ
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From: Alan Thompson <fyi-request-[email address]>
Sent: Thursday, 22 August 2019 4:49 p.m.
To: LGOIMA <[Tasman District Council request email]>
Subject: Official Information request - Decision to Evacuate Wakefield
Dear Tasman District Council,
During the Feb 2019 Pigeon Valley wildfire the Tasman District Council declared a “State of Emergency” and assumed overall responsibility for the incident. TDC appointed Controllers to manage the overall response. On the 8th of Feb the Controller ordered an evacuation of the town of Wakefield with the all of the disruption, stress and costs to residents.
In documents previously released to me it was stated that “there were concerns” regarding the proximity of the fire to Wakefield and that increasing winds were forecast. There was however no specific situation documented that set out the reasons for the Controller’s decision to force evacuations.
In a paper recently published by the Forestry Institute’s fire committee they analysed the fire weather and behaviour. The committee concluded that there was no basis for the decision to force an evacuation based upon predicted fire weather, the distance from Wakefield and the significant natural barriers the fire would need to cross to reach Wakefield. They further noted that in the unlikely event the fire reached any of the many natural barriers it would have been easily controlled with the resources available to the Incident Management Team.
The analysis of the fire weather by the committee identified that apart from the day the fire ignited, the fire weather conditions were moderate:
- high day time humidity (50 -75%)
- moderate temps (daily maximums in the low to mid 20s)
- light winds (mainly SE, 9 km/h av, max gusts 24km/h).
Under the provisions of the LGOMIA I request from TDC the documentation as signed off/approved by TDC’s Incident Controller (IC) ordering the evacuation of Wakefield. I would expect that this would include:
1. The Situation Report setting out the current situation with respect to the fire;
2. The trigger points as established by the IC to order an evacuation;
3. The predictions of fire weather and fire behaviour as considered by the IC.
4. Any other factors considered by the IC that contributed to the decision to evacuate.
5. The advice received from FENZ, Police and any others that the IC considered.
This is an Official Information request made via the FYI website.
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