Please — stop light­ing fires

The Northland Age - - Front Page -

Fire­fight­ers in the Far North are urg­ing their com­mu­ni­ties to take the cur­rent fire pro­hi­bi­tion more se­ri­ously.

North­land has been cov­ered by a pro­hib­ited fire sea­son since the be­gin­ning of the year, but peo­ple across the Far North have been con­stantly fight­ing fires, with lit­tle sign of slow­ing down.

Prin­ci­pal Ru­ral Fire Of­fi­cer Myles Tay­lor said Fire and Emer­gency New Zealand crews had re­sponded to more than 100 pre­ventable fires in the Far North since the pro­hib­ited sea­son was an­nounced.

“When the re­gion is tin­der dry, small fires can eas­ily be­come out of con­trol, and our crews are reg­u­larly be­ing called to fires that should never have been lit in the first place,” he said.

“In par­tic­u­lar we’re head­ing to out-of-con­trol rub­bish fires. It seems like some in our com­mu­ni­ties are choos­ing to bla­tantly ig­nore the risks.”

That, he said, was un­ac­cept­able, and was putting com­mu­ni­ties, forests and De­part­ment of Con­ver­sa­tion land in dan­ger.

“Over the week­end pre­ventable fires were to blame for the loss of three car­a­vans, while sev­eral houses were also threat­ened,” Mr Tay­lor added.

“We’re im­plor­ing our com­mu­ni­ties to keep a watch­ful eye out for ir­re­spon­si­ble fire­light­ing. If you see some­one look­ing to light a rub­bish fire or burn­ing off, please ask them not to, or talk to them about al­ter­na­tive ways to dis­pose of rub­bish or un­wanted ma­te­rial.

“I want to make ev­ery­one aware how dan­ger­ous light­ing fires in con­di­tions like we cur­rently have in the Far North can be.”

■ www.check­it­sal­right.nz

PIC­TURE / MICHAEL CUN­NING­HAM

Myles Tay­lor — too many fires are be­ing lit.

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