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A Restricted Fire Season will be in place in the Franklin District from Monday 15 December. Franklin District Council, as the Fire Authority for the Franklin District, says the restrictions will remain in place until further notice. The restrictions make it an offence to light, cause or allow a fire to be lit in the open air without a permit.
The restricted fire season will begin on the same day the new Franklin District Council Fires in the Open Air 2008 Bylaw takes effect in the District. The new Bylaw prohibits fires in the open air within the three main townships (Pukekohe, Tuakau and Waiuku) and there is no provision for applying for a permit to exempt you from this ban. The Bylaw also introduces a requirement to use incinerators for fires in all other residential, business, rural village and coastal village zones in the District.
During the restricted fire season, fires in all areas (other than prohibited areas) must have received a Franklin District Council permit. Anyone who lights a fire and does not have a permit will have their fire extinguished and may be asked to pay the costs or, in extreme cases, face prosecution. Permits can be obtained by making application to the Franklin District Council either in person at a Council office, over the phone or via the Council’s website www.franklin.govt.nz.
Exceptions to the restrictions are:
Traditional cooking fires on private property that are continually monitored and conducted in a safe & considerate manner. If you are going to do this please ring Franklin District Council’s Principal Rural Fire Officer, Andy Baker, on 027 2865754 to discuss first to ensure it runs smoothly.
Fires within enclosed incinerators or drums complete with a lid (these must be of a standard to prevent the spread of hot embers or ash).
Open air cooking in public places using barbeques and gas fired cooking devices.
“Fires are a part of rural life and a great tool on the farm; however they can also be devastating if they get out of control. We could be in for another dry summer so, once you have your permit, make sure to never leave your fire unattended,” says Franklin District Council’s Principal Rural Fire Officer, Andy Baker.
Some other simple tips for ensuring a safe fire include:
Only light fires (other than for cooking or heating) during the day so that they can reach peak intensity and be most efficient during the driest part of the day.
Ensure there is no smoke, ash or other fire associated nuisance
Have some means of containing or extinguishing fires.
Monitor the weather, in particular the wind which can turn a small fire into an out of control and dangerous blaze in seconds. Do not light a fire in strong winds and be aware that wind direction and strength can change quickly without warning.
Make sure the area where you are having the fire is clear of any material that could cause the fire to spread and is a safe, clear distance from any structure, tree, hedge, fence and overhead powerline.