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Fire danger closes Mana Island

16 January 2006


Fire danger closes Mana Island

The Department of Conservation has closed public access to Mana Island from today until further notice due to the increasing fire hazard.

The amount of dry or flammable matter in the grass had reached dangerous levels, pushing the fire hazard to extreme on the island, a scientific reserve, DOC Kapiti Area manager Ian Cooksley said.

“Public safety is of paramount importance and we also need to protect the very high ecological and historical values of the island. Compounding the danger is the evacuation of people from the island which would be extremely difficult.

“In certain conditions, with strong winds, a fire could spread over the island in a matter of minutes.

“We apologise for the inconvenience which this restriction may cause to visitors but it is vital to adopt a cautious approach. Mana is a very important island for conservation and we are charged with keeping it that way.”

The closure will be lifted once the flammable matter in the grass reduces.

ENDS

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