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Overgrown Sections Pose a Fire Risk

Overgrown Sections Pose a Fire Risk

Ruapehu District Council (RDC) is asking property owners to be proactive about keeping vegetation down on any urban land they own to lessen the fire risk.

RDC Team Leader Property, Rebecca Van Orden, said that at this time of year council starts receiving complaints from people concerned about the fire risk posed by overgrown and unkempt sections.

“Overgrown sections can present a real fire hazard and people should be mindful of the risk to their own property and that of their neighbours and keep vegetation down,” she said.

“So far this summer council has received six complaints with five being from around Taumarunui and Matapuna and one in Rangataua.”

“During inspections council property staff has also identified additional properties in Taumarunui, Ohakune, Raetihi and Rangataua that could potentially present a fire hazard if left un-mowed.”

“The problem of overgrown properties is right across the district in all Ruapehu townships.”

Mrs Van Orden said that with this summer not being as dry as last the number of complaints coming in from the public so far has been down on last year although the fire hazard is just as valid.

“Last summer council received around 70 complaints in total with 50 of these being deemed as fire risk sections following inspection.”

“In the event of a complaint being received council staff will visit the site and make an assessment as to the degree of risk.”

“If the risk is deemed to be real a ‘notice to cut’ letter is sent to the property owner,” she said.

Mrs Van Orden said that if the property owner fails to cut back the vegetation council is empowered under the Local Government Act to arrange for our Parks and Reserves contractor to do the work.

“Council will then invoice the owner for the work.”

“If however the owner refuses to pay the cost is charged against the title of the property and the money can be recovered when the property is sold.”

“Last summer council contractors mowed seven sections deemed to be a fire hazard and on-billed the property owner,” she said.


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