Beginning November 09, some residents of properties undamaged in the Lake Ōhau fire will be allowed to move back to their homes, a little over a month after the blaze.
On October 04, the fire, which covered over 5,000 hectares of land, damaged or destroyed around half of the properties in the village.
Lichelle Guyan, the area’s recovery manager, said that residents can begin returning to their homes on November 09, provided it is already safe to do so, RNZ reported.
“A lot of work is going on behind the scenes to make this as easy as we can for everybody and to facilitate the ability for people to move back into habitable houses,” Guyan was quoted as saying in the report.
“The biggest concern for us was safety. Ōhau is a high wind zone and there’s a lot of large objects that could fly about there for the first few weeks. We have been able to assess the infrastructure during this time.”
The exact number of returning residents has yet to be determined, and the council will work with residents on a case-by-case basis, Guyan said. She added that the Waitaki District Council, the Insurance Council of New Zealand, and other stakeholders and residents are working together to help get the community back on its feet.