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The continuing long dry spell in Hawke’s Bay is keeping fire services on edge.
The Hastings District went into a restricted fire season on the 3rd of December 2012 and moved to a total fire ban on the 14th December 2012.
Hastings District Council Principal Rural Fire Officer Trevor Mitchell says “The dry conditions haven’t eased significantly, despite a small amount of rain falling over the past two weeks. The undergrowth is still tinder dry and even the smallest spark could ignite a major fire.”
“The latest long range weather forecasts indicate that the dry conditions are expected to continue for some weeks,” Mr Mitchell says.
Trevor Mitchell says “It is vitally important that all residents understand that the total fire ban covers the whole district. There may be the perception that the ban only covers the rural areas but it applies equally to the urban areas. There have been a number of instances recently where rubbish fires have been lit in the back yard of homes in residential areas. Firefighters will respond to these calls and this unnecessarily ties up emergency resources and takes volunteer firemen away from their work and families.”
People throughout the district should continue to heed the total fire ban and report any smoke or fire to 111.
For further information on the total fire ban go to http://www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/fire-restrictions