Total fire ban in place here from Monday

Tairawhiti will on Monday become the latest region in New Zealand to be covered by a total fire ban as the risk climbs to extreme levels for scrub.

The prohibited fire season will be introduced from 8am on Monday.

“We now need to go to a total ban on fires in the open here because expected rain this weekend will not eventuate to the degree needed to stay with the current restricted fire season,” said principal rural fire officer Ray Dever.

It also means fire permits will not be issued.

“The fire weather index is now extreme for all areas of scrub around the district, with the grass and forest fire risk both moderate at the moment,” said Mr Dever.

“But we expect the forest and grass risk to rise quickly next week with more hot, dry weather.”

Mr Dever said there had been vast amounts of standing dry grass created because of the rain earlier in the season.

“That is a huge risk and of real concern to us.”

The fire risk across most regions of New Zealand has reached extreme levels.

“Fire and Emergency NZ is asking the public to be vigilant,” said FENZ fire risk management principal adviser Peter Gallagher.

Total fire bans have been put in place in Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty/Central North Island, Christchurch City and Banks Peninsular, Nelson, Marlborough, Central Otago, and now Tairawhiti from Monday.

“The extreme fire risk nationally is the result of long periods without significant rain, and abundant spring vegetation growth that has now dried off,” Mr Gallagher said.

“We are not expecting to see a significant change in fire danger in the next two to four weeks.

“These very dry conditions increase the chance of a single spark creating a large fire,” he said.

“We’re asking the public to stop and think before they undertake certain activities outside, and to remain vigilant.”

The FENZ fire prevention advice includes a call to 111 if people see any signs of fire or suspicious activity.

“Do not mow long, dry grass if there’s a chance of hitting a rock,” Mr Gallagher said.

“If a mower’s metal blades hit even a tiny rock, it can cause a spark and ignite a fire.

“Take extreme care when performing hot work outdoors such as grinding, welding or metal cutting.”

Tairawhiti will on Monday become the latest region in New Zealand to be covered by a total fire ban as the risk climbs to extreme levels for scrub.

The prohibited fire season will be introduced from 8am on Monday.

“We now need to go to a total ban on fires in the open here because expected rain this weekend will not eventuate to the degree needed to stay with the current restricted fire season,” said principal rural fire officer Ray Dever.

It also means fire permits will not be issued.

“The fire weather index is now extreme for all areas of scrub around the district, with the grass and forest fire risk both moderate at the moment,” said Mr Dever.

“But we expect the forest and grass risk to rise quickly next week with more hot, dry weather.”

Mr Dever said there had been vast amounts of standing dry grass created because of the rain earlier in the season.

“That is a huge risk and of real concern to us.”

The fire risk across most regions of New Zealand has reached extreme levels.

“Fire and Emergency NZ is asking the public to be vigilant,” said FENZ fire risk management principal adviser Peter Gallagher.

Total fire bans have been put in place in Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty/Central North Island, Christchurch City and Banks Peninsular, Nelson, Marlborough, Central Otago, and now Tairawhiti from Monday.

“The extreme fire risk nationally is the result of long periods without significant rain, and abundant spring vegetation growth that has now dried off,” Mr Gallagher said.

“We are not expecting to see a significant change in fire danger in the next two to four weeks.

“These very dry conditions increase the chance of a single spark creating a large fire,” he said.

“We’re asking the public to stop and think before they undertake certain activities outside, and to remain vigilant.”

The FENZ fire prevention advice includes a call to 111 if people see any signs of fire or suspicious activity.

“Do not mow long, dry grass if there’s a chance of hitting a rock,” Mr Gallagher said.

“If a mower’s metal blades hit even a tiny rock, it can cause a spark and ignite a fire.

“Take extreme care when performing hot work outdoors such as grinding, welding or metal cutting.”

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