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Rural residents urged to be vigilant after spike in fires

Rural residents urged to be vigilant after spike in fires

Firefighters are urging people in rural areas not to be deceived by the greener grass and cooler temperatures as wildfires can still easily break out.
It comes after a spike in wildfires, mainly happening in the afternoons, in several regions throughout the country.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s Rural Region Manager Richard McNamara says while fire restrictions have been lifted in some areas, people still need to be careful when burning.

"It might look green but this can be deceptive, there is still often dead vegetation from summer remaining beneath the new green growth which a fire can spread through," he says.

"As we move into autumn and winter, the cooler nights and dew often means conditions are generally less hazardous in the morning, however as the vegetation dries out and warms through the day, fires which were easily contained, can in the afternoon quickly spread and get out of control."

Mr McNamara urged people to check the weather conditions before they do any burn-offs and avoid burning in windy conditions.

He says there should be someone to watch over the fire at all times, and they need to have a hose, water bucket or water cart at the ready.

"People should also be considerate to their neighbours and think about the smoke drift and nuisance.

Also, if you have had a burn and are going to be leaving the property, make sure you first wash down the burn area to remove any residual heat, noting that some burn piles in the right conditions can remain hot for months."

For more information visit www.checkitsalright.co.nz

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