People have been forced to flee their Tasman homes to seek refuge in a Civil Defence centre as a huge fire in Pigeon Valley has doubled in size overnight.

The fire that started yesterday afternoon had spread to cover 1870ha within a perimeter of 20km by 3am with police confirming 150 homes had been evacuated with more expected later today.

Around 15 evacuees trickled in overnight to the centre at St John's Church in Wakefield with the last group coming in at 4.30am, a spokesman at the centre said.


Most had come to escape the fire, or have a coffee or tea before moving on to family members who were out of the fire danger.

At 7.30am, five evacuees were still at the centre.

"They are doing the best they can; they have accepted it is out of their control."

People have been evacuated from Eves Valley, Golden Hills Rd, Redwood Valley Rd, Mallings Rd and Greenacres Rd.

Notices of potential evacuation are in place for the top end of Sunrise Valley and Deep Dale Rd in Upper Moutere and Pigeon Valley.

Higgins Heritage Park manager Allan Palmer said he was concerned about the park overnight as the fire was raging just a few kilometres up from the building in Pigeon Valley.

"I have been here all night, checking to see the fire is not on our doorstep. It seems to have slowed down since yesterday as the wind has calmed down."

He did not know of anybody who had lost their home but could see vast damage to the forestry blocks in the valley.


"It has been extremely dry, the driest it has been in years."

If people evacuate and leave their homes it is asked they register with the Civil Defence Centre at St Johns Church, Edwards St in Wakefield and to ring Civil Defence, 03 5437290, to register they have moved and are safe. This is important to ensure everyone is accounted for and safe.

If people feel unsafe or unsure in any way, they are advised to self-evacuate to the Civil Defence Centre.