New Zealand has seen some significant scrub and grassland fires, but the Nelson blaze is thought to be the biggest to tear through forest land since 1955.
The Pigeon Valley fire covers 2,300 ha (5,700 acres) with a 25 km (15 mile) perimeter, NZ Civil Defence said in a statement on its website.
"While I'm immensely relieved there's been no loss of life and want to thank all of those involved in tackling this huge fire, it's clear there are going to be some hard times ahead until we get the fire fully under control and people back to their homes", she said.
There were fears that Sunday would bring about a worsening of conditions, as strong winds fanned the flames.More news: Ashley Young: Manchester United defender signs contract extension
Firefighters "turned a corner" in fighting the Tasman blaze on Sunday night, after working for seven days to contain the fire, which started last Tuesday.
"I'm anxious about tomorrow, to be honest", Sutton said.
He said residents of valleys outside the village, which are much closer to the fire front, would have to remain in emergency accommodation until further notice.
"There's still an enormous amount of heat there are and there are a lot of unburned areas", he said. As of Monday, the blaze was still scorching the island's arid countryside, but as firefighting conditions improved, around 3,000 evacuated residents were allowed to return home.More news: US destroyers sail in disputed South China Sea amid trade tensions
New Zealand Red Cross Communications Manager Ellie van Baaren said evacuees were exhausted and frustrated.
The main fire is believed to have been accidentally started by farm equipment, although there have also been two minor blazes which police said were deliberately lit.
Experts have warned that bushfires such as this one could become more common as New Zealand becomes drier and more drought-prone due to climate change.More news: How Toro Rosso's design gap to Red Bull is closing - F1