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Rural fire officers are carefully watching the weather conditions as vegetation in Hawke’s Bay continues to dry out and the fire risk increases.
Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer Gordon Foster says “The dry weather we have experienced over the past month is forecast to continue through summer. The last time the fire indicators showed these sorts of conditions at this time of the year was in 1997 and that turned into an extremely dry summer. The current conditions are ideal for fires to develop on rural properties around Hawke’s Bay.”
“We are asking property owners to be absolutely sure that all existing fires are completely extinguished and a permit is obtained before any new fires are lit. Vegetation on the plains and in coastal areas is becoming very dry, which means extra care must be taken when dealing with incinerators, rubbish, cooking or outdoor fires of any sort.”
Mr Foster says “The open fire season continues in the Hastings District but we are keeping a close eye on the weather conditions and fire bans will be imposed if the vegetation becomes too dry.”
Gordon Foster says “Fires can cost lives and destroy property and if you light a fire which gets out of control you may be held responsible for the cost of bringing it under control. Almost all rural fires are easily avoidable and we ask everyone to make sure you do all you can to prevent them.”
People are asked to report any unattended fires – dial 111
Anyone on a rural property who is contemplating lighting a fire should seek advice from a rural fire officer on (06) 871 5000. More information is also available on www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/fire-restrictions