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Restricted Fire Season For Mid-South Canterbury Plains And Coastal Zones

The Mid-South Canterbury plains and coastal zones will move to a restricted fire season at 11.59pm on Wednesday, 31 January, until further notice.

A restricted fire season means anyone planning on lighting an open-air fire will need a permit. You can apply for a permit at www.checkitsalright.nz.

The remainder of the Mid-South Canterbury District remains in a prohibited season, meaning no open-air fires are permitted.

Please see the attached map for the areas covered by each season. Anyone uncertain about which season they are in should visit www.checkitsalright.nz and enter their address to check.

Declaring the restricted season, Mid-South Canterbury District Manager Rob Hands says these areas are continuing to dry out as summer progresses.

"With most of the grass cured now, even significant rainfall will have little effect on the fire danger," he says.

"Any fires that start are going to be difficult to knock down and control and mop up is likely to be prolonged due to deep seated burning.

"Putting in a restricted fire season enables us to give greater guidance to those people carrying out fire-related or spark-generating activities and apply some controls to reduce the risk of unwanted fires.

"We also ask people to take account of the conditions and take extreme care before they start any outside activities that might cause sparks, like mowing or grinding. If you are undertaking these activities, please use www.checkitsalright.nz to check if it is safe to do so."

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Rob Hands says even with these controls in place, it doesn’t eliminate the risk of unwanted fires. He says people can take simple steps to make their properties easier to defend against fire, should they occur.

These include:

- Clearing flammable material from 10m around homes and buildings.

- Moving firewood stacked against houses

- Clearing gutters of dried leaves etc that will easily catch fire

- Clearing flammable material from under decks

- Trimming trees and bushes and removing the trimmings

- Keeping grass short (using a trimmer with a nylon line is safer in these conditions than a mower or trimmer with a metal blade that could create a spark)

Go to www.checkitsalright.nz for further tips on how to stay fire safe.

© Scoop Media

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