Bonfires, braziers and pizza ovens can’t be lit in Matamata until February 8.
This is due to a restricted fire season being in place.
Residents can’t light any fire in the open air without a fire permit from the Thames Valley Rural Fire Authority.
This also includes Chinese lanterns, solid fuel pizza ovens and incinerators (unless they have a door and chimney with spark arrestor).
Hangi and solid fuel BBQs are ok, as long as you have a permit which can be obtained through the Matamata-Piako District Council office.
Farmers can’t get fire permits for land clearing and large wood lots due to the current fire danger.
The authority asks farmers and lifestyle property owners to wait until the end of summer when fire danger indicators return to a safer level.
The Matamata Fire Brigade had to extinguish several fires which went against the fire ban. ‘‘We have been called to a number of calls in the town boundary that have been rubbish fires,’’ Matamata fire chief Kevin Curtis said.
‘‘It is not annoying to be called out if someone requires help, however if they are burning and ignoring the ban and they get angry at us for doing our job that is annoying.’’
He said there is a possibility that these people may be fined and possibly charged by the fire service.