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Change In Fire Season Status For Otago

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is updating its fire season status for the Otago region.

From Tuesday 1 December, the entire Otago region will change to a restricted fire season. This means a permit is required to light a fire outdoors.

A restricted fire season has been in place for Central Zone since the start of October but will now change to include the entire Otago region.

Acting Principal Rural Fire Officer, Mark Mawhinney says fire crews have been responding to an increased number of out of control fires in the Otago region.

He says the long-term forecast for the Otago region is for continued warm weather this summer.

"Although there is some rain predicted, it will not be enough to keep up with the summer drying that occurs."

"If you get a permit to light a fire this Summer, be vigilant.

"Always check the weather conditions to ensure there are no strong winds forecast.

"Fire and Emergency is always ready to share our expertise. Just give us a call," Mark Mawhinney says.

"Make sure our trucks can access your fire if it gets out of control and ensure there’s a water supply in reach as well.

"When you’ve finished, check your fire is completely extinguished. Check it again days, weeks and months after burning. It’s a good idea to dig into your ash pit to check it’s no longer hot."

Mark Mawhinney says keep your home safe from fire as well. Maintain a defendable area free of vegetation around your home.

"Don’t store firewood and other flammables up against the house."

You can apply for a fire permit and find more information on how you can reduce the risk of fire at www.checkitsalright.nz

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