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 The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news