Otago Daily Times

Fenz call: no fires



PEOPLE are being urged not to light fires as a blustery weekend is forecast across Otago.

A seasonal front was expected to affect Central Otago until today, bringing strong northweste­rlies.

Strong winds were also forecast for Coastal Otago today.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand deputy principal rural fire officer Jason Sarich said fire danger around Central Otago was likely to go up to very high.

‘‘We recommend people hold off lighting fires unless there is little or no wind forecast.

‘‘A fire danger of that level means it is extremely difficult to suppress any fires that start, when the weather event is blowing through the area.’’

Central Otago was in a restricted fire season, he said, meaning a permit was required to light an openair fire.

But everyone needed to think about whether they should be carrying out potential sparkgener­ating activities this weekend.

With the evenings now getting longer and warmer, people around Otago are likely to be out doing leisure activities like barbecues and home activities like lawn mowing, he said.

‘‘It only takes a spark to start a potentiall­y dangerous fire, so we want everyone to be extra careful.

‘‘Even exhaust fumes on dry grass has the potential to start a fire.’’

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