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Far North implored to take fire prohibitions more seriously

Firefighters in the Far North are urging their communities to take the current fire prohibitions more seriously.

Northland has been in a prohibited fire season since the start of 2020, with dry conditions making fire risk extreme. During a prohibited season there’s a ban on all open-air fires in the area.

But, since the declaration was made, crews across the Far North have been constantly out fighting fires.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Myles Taylor says Fire and Emergency New Zealand has attended more than 100 preventable fires in the Far North since the prohibited season was announced earlier this year.

"When the region is tinder dry, small fires can easily become out of control, and our crews are regularly being called to fires that should never have been lit in the first place. In particular, we’re heading to a number of out of control rubbish fires. It seems like some in our communities are choosing to blatantly ignore the risks."

Mr Taylor says this behaviour is unacceptable and is putting communities, forests and Department of Conversation land in danger.

"Over the weekend preventable fires were to blame for the loss of three caravans, while several houses were also threatened.

"We’re imploring our communities to keep a watchful eye out for irresponsible fire lighting. If you see someone looking to light a rubbish fire or doing a burn off, please ask them not to, or talk to them about alternative ways to dispose of rubbish or unwanted material.

"I want to make everyone aware how dangerous lighting fires in conditions like what we currently have in the Far North can be."

For more information on lighting fires and whether it is allowed in your area please visit checkitsalright.nz.

© Scoop Media

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