The rural community of Takaka is reeling after a large fire ripped through the main timber supplier in the Golden Bay area this morning.
Firefighters were called to the building shortly after 3am. It took 13 fire crews to bring it under control at 4.50am.
Tasman Mayor Tim King told 1News it was a “a bit of a trundle” for locals to go to Motueka or Nelson for supplies.
“Like all good, isolated rural communities, people are really great at helping each other out,” he laughed. “So that’s good to hear.”
He said “everyone knows everyone” in the town and the fire has had quite a big impact on the community.
“It will look to rebuild in due course, but in the meantime it is a big impact on people’s building supplies,” he said.
Residents are being told not to use water from the Motupipi River, from a tributary near Waitapu Engineering on Motupipi St to the Rototai Estuary, for fears it may be contaminated.
“At this stage [we’re] taking a really precautionary approach, asking people not to use the water from any of those sources while we work to find out how much contamination, where it might have extended to and what the process is for cleaning up,” King said.
King said everyone in Takaka is reliant either on bores, access to waterways directly or roof collection from rainwater.
Takaka resident Marlene Alach shared pictures of large pieces of ash on her roof, which she said is 600m across town.
She warned other residents to “check your roof and spouting”.
“My place is covered in bits of ITM all over the lawn and stuck to the shed,” she said.