$200,000 bill to battle area’s out of control fires
Fire and Emergency NZ has spent more than $200,000 in just two weeks fighting out-of-control fires in Northland that also threatened properties.
The revelation was made by Northland’s principal rural fire officer Myles Taylor as a restricted fire season came into force for all Northland from 6am on Saturday, which means people will need a permit to light fires.
There are exceptions such as hangi, umu and barbecue fires.
Recent rain has not helped conditions and with hot weather predicted heading into the festive season, Taylor said people needed a permit and should exercise caution while lighting fires.
“There are many examples of fires getting out of control recently. We’ve spent over $200,000 on out-of-control burns in the first two weeks of November alone, mostly in the Far North.
“Most, if not all, those burns were as a result of people not paying attention and leaving the fires burning, thinking it’s safe to leave them unattended. Several houses were threatened as well.
“It’s a total waste of public money and we’d urge people to act responsibly. The next level up is a prohibited fire season.”
Taylor said an end date and time for the restricted fire season would depend on weather conditions.
“Wind is our worst enemy in Northland because it dries things very quickly. We’ve had some rain but that hasn’t improved conditions,” he said.
Visit www.checkitsalright.nz to obtain a permit, for advice on the current fire status and tips on safe fires.