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Total fire ban considered

Total fire ban considered

Hastings district may face a total fire ban before the end of summer, as weather forecasts promise little significant rain for the area.

Rural Fire crews attended two fires yesterday - one a planned burn which got out of control, and another started by an angle grinder throwing sparks into dry grass.

Hastings District Council's Principal Rural Fire Officer, Mike Maguire, said that following discussions with the NZ Fire Service, the decision had been made this morning to continue with limited fire restrictions for now, but a total ban was looking increasingly likely.

"We try to avoid total fire prohibitions until the conditions make it absolutely necessary, because it does restrict a lot of activities. Some areas closer to the ranges are looking quite green at the moment, but near the coast it's getting so dry that a ban must be considered."

Mr Maguire said he was impressed with the number of people obtaining fire permits under the current restricted fire season.

"When we're issuing permits it means people are getting the message about fire safety and doing the right thing. Getting a permit means we know where and when fires will be lit, so we can offer advice for minimising risk."

ENDS

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