Total fire ban for tinder-dry Wellington region
7 March 2013
Total fire ban for
tinder-dry Wellington region
A total ban on outdoor
fires – gas barbecues excepted – is to be imposed from
8am tomorrow (Friday 8 March) in the Wellington region.
It is the first time in 10 years that such a
comprehensive ban has been imposed.
Like much of the
rest of the country, the Wellington region is tinder-dry
after weeks of hot weather and a serious lack of rainfall.
Rachael Thorp, Chair of the Greater Wellington
Rural Fire Co-ordinating Committee, says fire-risk
conditions have now elevated to an “extreme” point where
local councils and the Department Of Conservation have had
to impose the ban.
The ban covers all territory in
Wellington City, Hutt City, Upper Hutt City, Porirua City
and the Kapiti Coast District. It includes all land
administered by the Department of Conservation.
“Our fantastic summer weather has pushed the fire
danger up to a point where fires will start easily, spread
fast and be very hard to stop,” says Ms Thorp.
“We are asking that people do not light fires and in
addition avoid hot outdoor work such as grinding and
welding, and use of motorised equipment such as mowers,
chainsaws and scrub bars during the afternoon when the
temperatures are at their peak.”
All fires in the
open will be banned. This includes cooking fires such as
hangi, umu and braai, incinerators, solid fuel barbecues,
camp fires, beach fires and fireworks.
breaching the ban will be liable on conviction to six
months’ imprisonment and a $2000 fine.
permits previously issued are suspended until further
“People must be extra vigilant during this
period. Any fires in the open, or smoke seen should be
reported as soon as possible,” says Ms Thorp.
prohibited fire season will remain in place until there is a
decent period of rainfall and the fire danger passes.
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