Fire restrictions as season turns riskier
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.checkitsalright.nz 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. checkitsalright.nz
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.