Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Smoky winter fires ramp up complaints

Smoky winter fires ramp up complaints


27 June 2014


Smoky outdoor fires on cool days are ramping up the number of complaints being made to Bay of Plenty Regional Council about smoke nuisance.

And the number of complaints could easily be reduced if people managed fires well and understood the rules about what can be burned, Regional Council Pollution Prevention Officer Chris Brewer says.

The Regional Council received 10 smoky fire complaints on one day at the end of May, and all but one were caused by burning green vegetation.

“All of the alleged offenders claimed they did not know it was against best practice to burn green vegetative material. The prime cause of smoky fire complaints is the lack of awareness about the rules under the region’s Air Plan and management of fires,” he said.

The Regional Air Plan sets out rules that control the environmental effects of burning. Getting a fire permit from local city or district councils does not allow people to create a smoke nuisance or ignore the rules. District and city councils and the Fire Service manage fire bans and permits.

Mr Brewer said a smoky fire was a sure sign that waste material was being burned incorrectly.

“We are finding that many offenders are burning green waste that has not dried or seasoned, especially on orchards and in rural areas. Over winter the air is cooler, especially in the morning and early evening, and this creates an inversion layer where smoke is not able to rise.”

“Fires are being lit too close to roads and highways which can become hazardous for drivers. When green material is burnt wet it increases the amount of particulates in the air which can reduce visibility.”

He said people often complained because of the nuisance smoke could generate. Concerns included strong odour, people not being able to hang washing out, ash deposited on property and general annoyance. Others have complained about thick smoke exacerbating health issues, such as asthma.

He said people needed to ensure that offensive levels of smoke from fires did not travel across property boundaries.

“If people checked what they are burning, where they set fires and made sure that smoke didn’t cross their own property boundary then there would be fewer complaints,” he said.

It is illegal to burn chemicals, food waste, metals, paints, animal carcases, pesticides, plastic, rubber, treated timber, waste oil or anything that could produce toxic gases. The Regional Council’s Smoke Sense brochure provides information about fires, what can be burned and a summary of the rules about open fires.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news