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Prohibited Fire Season For Gisborne/Tairawhiti

Gisborne/Tairawhiti is now in a prohibited fire season as of 8am Tuesday 26 January 2021.

A prohibited fire season means a total ban on outdoor fires and all previously granted fire permits are no longer valid.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Ray Dever says "we were able to stay in a restricted fire season for as long as we could thanks to rain over the Christmas break, but the conditions have now dried out considerably."

"These dry conditions mean a fire could start easily and spread out of control very quickly. We have already seen a few scrub fires this year."

Ray Dever asks people to be extra vigilant about fire risk particularly over the next few days when high temperatures are forecast.

"Barbecues, hangi and umu are all allowed in a prohibited season. But please take extra care and make sure you have a hose or bucket of water close by to extinguish any sparks that escape the fire. A spark is all it takes to start a wildfire in dry conditions," he says.

Ray Dever also urges people to consider the conditions before undertaking work with machinery.

"We are asking builders and contractors to take extra care using power tools that might cause sparks in the open air. This is particularly important for grinding and cutting metals, especially if they are near vegetation."

"The same goes for people planning to use farm machinery or even mow their lawns in the heat of the day. Please pay particular attention to the weather and local fire danger. Put off mowing your lawns or mow them in the early morning or evening.

If you are unsure if it is safe to undertake spark-generating activity, or to light up your barbecue, go to www.checkitsalright.nz to check the local fire danger and fire season status.

© Scoop Media

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