Care­less cook­ing can cre­ate in­ferno

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

The aro­mas of meat cook­ing over hot coals is one of the joys of sum­mer but for now bar­be­cue en­thu­si­asts are be­ing asked to stick to con­ven­tional cook­ing meth­ods.

Auck­land is tin­der dry and the coun­cil is ap­peal­ing to park users to take spe­cial care when head­ing to the beach or their favourite spot dur­ing th­ese parched con­di­tions.

Solid fuel bar­be­cues – which burn coal and wood – are not al­lowed un­der the to­tal fire ban that ap­plies to the Auck­land re­gion.

This in­cludes por­ta­ble solid-fuel bar­be­cues, any wood or coal­fired bar­be­cues found in parks and dis­pos­able packs that can be bought from su­per­mar­kets or hard­ware stores.

Auck­land Coun­cil parks, sports and recre­ation act­ing man­ager Mace Ward says de­spite the coun­cil is­su­ing a to­tal fire ban, staff are still find­ing peo­ple light­ing solid fuel bar­be­cues and open fires in the re­gion’s parks.

‘‘It only takes a sin­gle spark or em­ber to start a se­ri­ous fire in grass or bush-clad parks,’’ Mr Ward says.

‘‘Our re­gional

and beach­front parks are par­tic­u­larly dry, yet some vis­i­tors are not think­ing about the im­pact their care­less ac­tions might have.

‘‘We are ask­ing all park vis­i­tors to leave their coal and wood­fired bar­be­cues at home and ei­ther bring alternative pic­nic foods or use the gas or elec­tric bar­be­cues pro­vided,’’ he says.

‘‘As we have seen on Great Bar­rier Is­land and around the coun­try, out­door fires can quickly take off and cause ma­jor dam­age.

‘‘We do not want to see any of our re­gion’s park­land threat­ened by fire or any of our vis­i­tors, live­stock or wildlife put in dan­ger.’’

All solid fuel bar­be­cues in parks have been de­com­mis­sioned and coun­cil-sup­plied fire­wood has been re­moved.

Fire ban signs have been in­stalled across the parks net­work.

‘‘Rangers have also re­ported some in­ci­dents of fire­works be­ing used on or near parks. Th­ese con­trib­ute to the fire risk and are also pro­hib­ited,’’ Mr Ward says.

The fire ban cov­ers all fires in the open air in­clud­ing rub­bish fires, bon­fires, back­yard bra­ziers, fire­works and cook­ing fires.

The ban will re­main in place un­til the fire dan­ger is no longer classed as el­e­vated.

It is be­lieved fire­works were re­spon­si­ble for the blaze that left a 200sqm scar in the crater of Mt Eden.

If you see peo­ple us­ing solid fuel bar­be­cues or light­ing open fires in coun­cil­man­aged parks, please report to a ranger or con­tact the coun­cil on 301 0101.

In an emer­gency, dial 111 im­me­di­ately.

Safe cook­ing: Auck­land Coun­cil is keen to avoid scenes like this from Great Bar­rier Is­land break­ing out else­where in the re­gion and is urg­ing peo­ple to ob­serve the to­tal fire ban­that is in place.

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