Govt pledges relief for Nelson fires

The government has pledged an initial $20,000 in relief funds for those affected by the Nelson fires.  So far more than 180 properties have been evacuated.

Local iwi say they have received no requests for marae shelter but support services are on standby.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says, "There are welfare calls being made to families today and what we've done is made sure that there is a pot of funding ready to go if there is any unmet need."

Ardern arrived in Nelson yesterday morning and meet with families affected by the fires, along with firefighting volunteers.

"They tell me everywhere I went, I asked ‘do you need more resources?’, and they tell me at this stage that they have what they need and if they need more they feel assured that they will get it."

Meanwhile efforts to control the blaze are ongoing.

The flames have spread over 1,900 hectares and more than 400 people have been impacted, with at least one property lost so far.

"It is a massive undertaking, as has been described to me this morning,” says Ardern, “It is dry as a bone, the rainfall compared to even last year has been low.  The mayor described to me that they haven't had anything other than shallow rainfall since October."

Officials allege that a tractor on a Pigeon Valley farm is likely to have caused the blaze on Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters continue to contain the flames, but the situation could turn, with Metservice reports predicting light winds and hot temperatures over the next few days.