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No Outdoor Burning During Winter, Please

No Outdoor Burning During Winter, Please

While Hastings and Napier air quality is improving thanks to better home heating, outdoor burning can still be a health hazard and so is banned during winter.

Regional rules aimed at keeping winter air clear and healthy means that outdoor burning is not permitted within the Hastings or Napier Air sheds from 1 May to 31 August.

The air sheds are specific zones around the cities where air pollution can build up during winter, especially on calm cold nights. Air pollution is a known factor in poor respiratory and cardiovascular health.

The Heatsmart programme offered by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council over the past 10 years has helped homeowners improve insulation and home heating, and reduced the amount of smoke coming from wood burners. This initiative has significantly improved air quality in Hastings and Napier urban areas in winter in recent years.

Outdoor burning can still be a problem in urban areas, where people use it to clear garden, household or commercial waste. This burning can also produce more toxic smoke depending on what waste is in the fire. On cold, still nights unhealthy smoke can linger around homes.

Anyone who sees outdoor burning in the urban areas during winter should call Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Pollution Hotline 0800 108 838 immediately, as the response team are on call 24 hours, every day of the year.

Orchardists are permitted to burn during winter where they are clearing diseased trees or redeveloping their orchard. However the industry has been given clear instructions to avoid certain weather conditions – to avoid still, windless days, when an inversion layer can keep their smoke close to the ground, homes and streets. Orchardists should plan to burn on days when there is likely to be a light breeze that will carry smoke away from homes.

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