A state of emergency has been declared on New Zealand’s South Island as up to 3000 people flee their homes in the wake of out of control wildfires near Nelson.

According to The New Zeland Herald, today marks the seventh day of the forest fires with local media calling it the worst bushfire New Zealand has seen in 50 years.

There were serious fears there’d be 50kmh winds around the area of the fire on Sunday, which would have made life tough for the firefighters on the ground but thankfully they never eventuated.

Image: NZ Herald

The fire covers about 2300 hectares and Civil Defence incident controller Roger Ball told media this morning that despite the fact some residents can return home today, firefighters will continue to be in the field for weeks, if not months.

“There is still an extreme fire risk for the whole region.”

Civil Defence incident controller Roger Ball

Image: New Zealand Herald

He noted that the situation could still change quickly and that a total fire ban and machinery ban continues.

Our thoughts are with those affected