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Total fire ban continues for Hastings District

Date: March 22nd 2013

The Bridge Pa graph shows the Fire Daily Severity Rating which is a numeric indicator of fire severity.

Total fire ban continues for Hastings District

A total fire ban continues and the fire risk remains high in Hastings District, despite the recent rainfall.

Rain over the past week has been patchy across the District, with 17mm being recorded at Bridge Pa and 50mm at Waimarama but this hasn’t been enough to significantly reduce the fire risk or drought levels.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Trevor Mitchell says “Hastings District remains the driest area in the country with the fire weather drought indicator passing 1000 last weekend (over 300 is considered dry). These conditions generally only occur in areas like the Canterbury Plains and Central Otago.”

Trevor Mitchell says “The fire Daily Severity Rating for the summer of 2013 is tracking almost exactly along the line which occurred in 1997, and that was the driest summer in Hawke’s Bay in the last 16 years.”

“Some areas of Hawke’s Bay did receive a reasonable amount of rainfall in the past week but most parts of Hastings District remain very dry. Residents may have noticed a greenish tinge coming to the vegetation since the rain but there is a lot of cured standing grass and underneath it remains very dry. The chance of fire is still very high” Mr Mitchell says.

“No significant rain is in the forecast for the next 7 days and the danger is that warm, windy days have the potential to elevate the fire danger to extreme.”

Rural Fire Officers will continue to monitor the fire conditions on a daily basis but a total fire ban will remain in place for both the rural and urban areas of Hastings District in the foreseeable future.


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