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Fire Danger Warning

Fire Danger Warning

The continuing spell of fine weather and lack of rain in Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Kapiti, Wairarapa, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago has created drought conditions which are causing concern for Rural Fire Authorities. Fire dangers are either extreme or moving to extreme in these areas. With tinder dry fuels, fires start easily, are difficult to suppress and require long and protracted mop-up to fully extinguish. The only thing keeping a lid on the situation is the relative lack of wind.

All of the western lower North Island has prohibited fire seasons which is unheard of for areas like Taranaki. All of the eastern South Island has prohibited seasons in place.

Link for national fire season status: http://nrfa.fire.org.nz/firebans/index.htm

There have been a number of small to medium fires over recent days these have fortunately not developed into larger fires due to the lack of wind and the prompt and aggressive work of firefighters.

While limited rain is forecasted in some areas only prolonged significant rain will reduce the fire danger in the western lower North Island and eastern South Island. Any fires that develop in these areas will be difficult to control especially if significant wind and high temperatures are involved.

The map below shows the extent and severity of drought conditions, dark brown indicating the driest areas. The driest areas are more vulnerable to higher fire danger.

The public is asked to be aware of fire danger warnings and restrictions and to be conscious of activities that may start fires.

Contact the National Rural Fire Authority duty officer on 04 4963691 or 021 705 823 for comment.

For further information on fire weather and fire seasons visit the National Rural Fire Authority web site http://nrfa.fire.org.nz.

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