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Reserve Closure In Place For Mount Iron Reserve

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) will close Mount Iron Reserve between 12.00pm-6.00am for the next three days from Thursday 11 January 2024 to Saturday 13 January 2024 due to extreme risk of wildfire, and is asking residents and visitors to avoid the reserve between these times.

The closure follows fire indices reaching levels which trigger a closure, as outlined in QLDC’s Wildfire Reserve Closure and Activity Management Procedures, and brought on by an extended spell of hot and dry weather and high temperatures forecast for tomorrow.

QLDC Acting General Manager Community Services, Simon Battrick said closing Mount Iron Reserve was the most appropriate step available to reduce the potential for fire to occur and the risk to life or property, given the extreme risk of wildfire forecasted.

“We know a wildfire in one of our reserves could have a devastating effect on our people, environment and economy. Closing access to the area while the danger is at such elevated levels is the safest option. It means we can reduce the potential for a fire to happen, and ensure people are out of harm’s way in the event a fire does start,” said Mr Battrick.

“We’ll closely monitor the indices and either extend the closure or reopen the reserve on Sunday at 6.00am if it is considered safe to do so.”

Those keen to visit Mount Iron Reserve are asked to only consider doing so in the mornings when the reserve is open.

QLDC will place signage at entrance points to the reserve and has implemented its agreed notification process.

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“I’d like to thank the community in advance for their co-operation and support in sharing this message with friends and whanau. We’ll provide a further update as soon as the indices reach a safe level to reopen Mount Iron Reserve,” said Mr Battrick.

QLDC will publicly notify the reopening of the reserve on its Facebook page, website homepage and directly to those signed up to community text alerts.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to sign up for alerts if they haven’t already by heading to www.qldc.govt.nz/text-alerts and selecting either Queenstown or Wānaka as the location for reserve closures. Other locations can be added for Council updates too.

More information about the reserve closure process can be found at www.qldc.govt.nz/managing-wildfire-risk. Meanwhile, the remainder of the district is subject to a total fire ban. This includes the use of fireworks. To check the latest fire season status, head to https://checkitsalright.nz/.

If you see smoke or fire, please call 111 immediately.

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