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BBQs a no-no as fire risk increases

29 January 2013

BBQs a no-no as fire risk increases

Auckland Council is appealing to park visitors to take special care when heading to the beach or their favourite park during these extra-dry conditions.

Solid fuel (coal and wood) BBQs are not allowed under the total fire ban that currently applies to the Auckland region. This includes portable solid fuel BBQs, any wood or coal fired BBQs on parks and disposable BBQs that can be bought from supermarkets or hardware stores.

Acting manager of Parks, Sports and Recreation, Mace Ward, says despite council issuing a total fire ban last week, park staff are still finding people lighting solid fuel BBQs and open fires in the region’s parks.

“It only takes a single spark or ember to start a serious fire in grass or bush-clad parks. Our regional and beachfront parks are particularly dry, yet some visitors are not thinking about the impact their careless actions might have.

“We are asking all park visitors to leave their coal and wood-fired BBQs at home and either bring alternative picnic foods or use the gas or electric BBQs provided.

“As we have seen on Great Barrier Island and around the country, outdoor fires can quickly take off and cause major damage. We do not want to see any of our region’s parkland threatened by fire or any of our visitors, livestock or wildlife put in danger,” he says.

If you see people using solid fuel BBQs or lighting open fires in council-managed parks, please report to a ranger or contact council on 09 301 0101. In an emergency, dial 111 immediately.

All solid fuel BBQs on parks have been decommissioned and council-supplied firewood has been removed. Fire ban signs have been installed across the parks network.

“Rangers have also reported some incidents of fireworks being used on or near parks. These contribute to the fire risk and are also prohibited,” says Mr Ward.

ENDS

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