Rural Support Trust says the Tasman fire is a massive blow for the region with many in the horticultural sector having to make tough decisions.

RST co-ordinator for the Nelson region, Barbara Stuart, said people were choosing which crops to keep and which ones they may need to sacrifice.

Wind and smoke were also causing difficulties, she said.

"There's a lot of confusion around."

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Federated Farmers said the fire has also been difficult for those with lifestyle blocks.

Many lifestylers don't have the ability to move stock out of harm's way, and farmers are busy dealing with their own animals, said Provincial Support for Nelson Jan Gillanders.

Now the organisation wants retired farmers able to help handle stock, to get in touch, as they need assistance with animals that have been sent to the Richmond Showgrounds.

Although the animals at the showgrounds currently don't need feed, Federated Farmers urged those who have any spare to get in contact so it can co-ordinate that in the days to come.

A lack of water has caused issues for vineyards as 50 per cent were already dry before the fire.

Listen to The Country's Jamie Mackay interview former president of Horticulture NZ Julian Raine below:

Blenheim-based viticulture expert for PGG Wrightson Fruitfed Supplies Blair McClean said although some have dams for supplementary water, those that don't have to truck it in, or barter with neighbouring properties for allocation.

To make matter worse, McClean said smoke has been known to taint grapes in Australia.

Although there is no evidence that this has happened yet, it will depend on how long the smoke hangs around.

With five weeks until harvest, McClean said the situation was "bad."

Lack of water also puts crops with delicate leafy greens under stress with lettuce, spinach and silver beet particularly affected.

MPI animal welfare officer Wayne Ricketts said they were working on a plan to help get people back to properties to check on animals.

Animal owners with concerns over their animals getting enough feed are urged to contact MPI.

If animals are burnt, owners are advised to contact a vet or MPI staff.

Some animals may need to be euthanised. A small mob of sheep had to be put down yesterday, he said.

Most of the residents at the community meeting who asked questions, wanted to know about getting access to animals and livestock – or why some roads were closed and not others.

Officials urged them to get in contact over individual access options, and again urged that the cordons were only there to keep people safe.

Rural Support Trust's message is:

For farmers in the risk area – if you're concerned call 111 or Civil Defence.
• Make decisions early.
• Take care of yourselves and your neighbours.
• Take pets with you if you can.
• Make sure you remember to eat and drink so you can keep calm and make good decisions.

Scion Rural Fire Research and Federated Farmers' tips to reduce fire risk on your property:

• Reduce the fire fuels on your property by mowing grass often or removing dead fuels from around your farm.
• Create a fire break around your property. If possible, maintain green laws and ensure paddocks around your farm buildings and yards are well grazed and not overgrown.
• Have a water source which can easily be accessed or is portable in the event of a fire or emergency and clearly indicated for emergency crews.
• Provide clear access to your farm for emergency vehicles if needed, remove overhanging trees and clear driveways if possible. Make sure your RAPID number is displayed in a place that is clearly visible for emergency vehicles.
• Know the fire risk in your area, know what the current fire dangers are and what the restrictions are in your area. You can do this by visiting www.checkitsalright.nz
• Create a fire plan for your family, livestock and assets, so you know what to do if the situation strikes.