Fire re­stric­tions as sea­son turns riskier

CHB Mail - - NEWS -

Ru­ral Hawke’s Bay moved to a re­stricted fire sea­son on Mon­day.

That means light­ing a fire is riskier than usual. Peo­ple will need to go to www.check­it­sal­ and put in their ad­dress, to find out the fire sea­son sta­tus of their lo­ca­tion, and whether their planned ac­tiv­ity or fire type re­quires a per­mit.

Prin­ci­pal Ru­ral Fire Of­fi­cer Trevor Mitchell says the un­sea­son­ably very windy, warm and dry spring has dried out most of the Hawkes Bay.

“As a re­sult, our fire crews have been at­tend­ing a num­ber of haz­ardous and out of con­trol fires,” Mitchell says. “So we are mov­ing to a re­stricted fire sea­son in ru­ral Hawke’s Bay amonth ahead of nor­mal.

“This will en­able us to­know who, when and where peo­ple wish to light a fire. Then we can pro­vide ad­vice on how they can burn safely.

“It is im­por­tant peo­ple liv­ing in ru­ral and semi-ru­ral ar­eas think about the fire risk around their prop­erty and make changes to re­duce that risk,” Mitchell says.

“Pro­tect your home by keep­ing roofs and gut­ters clear of dead leaves, de­bris and pine nee­dles. Move any­thing that could burn (such as mulch, leaves, fire­wood piles) away from ex­te­rior walls, decks or porches.

“Fire can kill within three min­utes. Makesure your smoke alarms are work­ing and have an es­cape plan. Fire moves faster than you­can run, so when­ever light­ing a fire, al­ways do so safely— be aware of theweather con­di­tions and have the abil­ity to put the fire out if it gets out of con­trol.

“Just one spark can cause a dev­as­tat­ing wild­fire. Be­fore you do any work on the land, check the weather fore­cast first. Goto: www. check­it­sal­

Mitchell says it takes longer for emer­gency ser­vices to get to in­ci­dents in ru­ral ar­eas.

“Fire­fight­ing wa­ter is of­ten hard to get to and drive­ways get over­grown. This is a timely re­minder that a fire truck needs 4x4 mof clear­ance,” he says.

Be pre­pared for sum­mer and seek fire safety ad­vice from Fire and Emer­gency NZ.

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