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Fire risk in Canterbury and Marlborough

11 January 2013

Fire risk in Canterbury and Marlborough

Farmers and small holders urged to be extremely cautious

The events in Canterbury over the past two days mean we are dealing with tinderbox conditions with a lot of fuel after the flush of spring/early summer growth.

Although some rain is forecast for early next week, Federated Farmers urges all rural residents to be extremely conscious of the current fire risk in Canterbury and the northern South Island.

Lawnmowers, farm equipment, tractors, quad bikes and motorbikes need to be thoroughly checked before use.

We strongly encourage farmers to organise their own fire suppression equipment; a ute fitted with one or two 1,000 litre totes and a pump is an extremely useful first response capability.

If harvesting, we strongly encourage farmers to have this near where they are working.

For those using disc mowers, pasture should be cut in the early morning and should stop by mid-morning, in order to avoid the heat of the day.

Everyone needs to be aware that current weather conditions mean a single spark could easily ignite grass that will be whipped up by the intense nor’wester.

For those in very high risk areas, consideration should be given to the creation of fire breaks around buildings, adjacent to roadways or along boundary lines.

Given the current high risk and a possible change in the weather expected early next week, thought should be given to deferring work unless it is necessary.

If you are in any doubt, please check with the Rural Fire Authority website.

For Canterbury’s rural weather forecast, click here and for Marlborough, click here.

Emergency grazing for affected animals

Federated Farmers’ Helen Heddell is offering to coordinate emergency grazing for displaced stock and other animals.

If you have capacity to offer grazing or are in need of emergency grazing, then please text 0274 361 389 or email your details to


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