Don’t wait until summer
The official rural fire season has now begun and rural fire officers throughout the region are encouraging rural residents to burn piles of tree trimmings and general farm rubbish now.
Palmerston North Rural Fire Officer, Graeme McIntyre said the potential for a very hot dry summer due to the predicted extreme El Nino may make much of this area dryer than normal and we could be in a Prohibited Fire Season by the beginning to mid-December. “We are asking people to consider burning their rubbish as soon as possible while the risk of fire spreading is lower.” Flames create convection currents where sparks can travel up to 1km away which are then at risk of starting fires due to dry ground. Burning rubbish now means the ground is still damp and there are fewer fire risks. “We ask that you first make sure you are not in an area that has a Fire By Permit restriction throughout the year and if you have any doubt or concerns about lighting any fires please contact your local council's Rural Fire Officer who is more than willing to give advice or if required look into a fire permit for your area,” Graeme said. The advice of your local Rural Fire Officers is a free service and it is advised those who have concerns or inquiries to please call them. If you light fires, please keep in mind that these should not cause a smoke nuisance to road traffic as well as neighbouring properties, ensure someone remains on site at all times and consider some means of being able to extinguish the fire if it gets out of control. Avoid burning your piles after dark when visibility is poor.