Predictions of potential fire growth made by Scion’s fire team have been used to illustrate what could have happened during the latest Tasman forest fire.
Veronica Clifford modelled potential fire growth using the Prometheus fire simulation model. One of her worst case predictions showed the fire could have reached the main coastal highway between Richmond and Motueka within 4-5 hours. This assumed there was no fire suppression and that the fire would cross roads and tracks in the area.
Thankfully, with the support of helicopters and bulldozers, fire crews were able to contain the fire to a much smaller area. Containment was aided by quick reporting of the fire by the public, and rapid response by resources on high alert or working on the nearby Pigeon Valley fire.
In addition to Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s regional Facebook posting, the Prometheus modelling also featured on TV3’s Newshub 6pm news bulletin (given the fire investigations still being underway, please excuse the over-emphasis of arson as the likely cause of many of the recent Nelson fires!).