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Rural Fire Season Begins

Rural Fire Season Begins

Rural Fire Officers are warning the region is expected to be a lot drier this summer due to the extreme El Nino predicted

The fire season officially began on October 1 but officers are expecting restrictions could be imposed earlier than normal.

“With the potential for a very hot dry summer due to the extreme El Nino predicted, we could be in a Prohibited Fire Season by the beginning to mid-December,” Palmerston North Rural Fire Officer, Graeme McIntyre said.

Mr McIntyre says people in parts of the region outside the Tararua District should consider burning their rubbish now

“We are asking people to consider burning their rubbish as soon as possible while the risk of fire spread is lower and while the area is still in an Open Fire Season.”

Burning piles now means the ground is still damp and there are fewer fire risks.

“We ask that you make sure you are not in an area that has a Fire By Permit restriction throughout the year and if you intend to light any fires please contact your local council’s Rural Fire Officer who is more than willing to give advice or if required look into a fire permit for your area,” Graeme said.

However Tararua Principal Rural Fire Officer Paddy Driver states that the weather conditions on the eastern side of the north island are very dry and windy at the moment and people should not burn unless it is absolutely necessary.

“Strong winds can blow embers up to 2 to 4 kilometres away and set fire to other properties. There have already been some major vegetation fires on the east coast to date,” he says.

The advice of your local Rural Fire Officers is a free service and it is advised those who have concerns or inquiries to please call them.
If you light fires, please keep in mind that these should not cause a smoke nuisance to road traffic as well as neighbouring properties, ensure someone remains on site at all times and consider some means of being able to extinguish the fire if it gets out of control. Avoid burning your piles after dark to ensure you are not out all night looking after the fire and as a courtesy to the public not thinking it is something more serious.

Graeme said it was a reasonable fire season last year although dry towards the end, and only a few major fires were recorded in the area. “The Met Service is forecasting a dry summer season, so all local authorities as well as the public need to be on high alert. We encourage residents to burn their piles before mid-October.”

ENDS

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