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Fires a real risk: Restrictions in place

A raft of fires over the last few days should be a reminder of the summer fire restrictions.

In Hastings one of the worst was a scrub fire in Mangleton Rd in Kereru that took five fire truck crews and a helicopter three hours to extinguish. There was also a roadside blaze on the Napier Taupo Rd, three suspicious fires and a number of unpermitted fires extinguished over the weekend.

A number of fires across the region added to the load on fire brigades including one at Te Hauke, between Paki Paki and Otane. That took the crews of seven fire appliances and two helicopters armed with a monsoon bucket to put out.

The rapidly drying vegetation and windy conditions in a lot of areas are making lighting fires particularly dangerous, said Eastern Regional Rural Fire Committee chairman Trevor Mitchell.

“The main messages are that if you see an unattended fire phone 111; no fires on the beaches; if you want to light an outdoor fire check to see if you need a permit. Most of Hawke’s Bay has fire restrictions in place with a total fire ban in place over the Mahia Peninsula, so check before you light.

“By and large people have been pretty good at letting us know about any hangi or fireworks displays they are having and we encourage that.”

Mr Mitchell was also sending a message out to those who had burnt stumps or logs over the last few months.

“Please double check that there are no deep-seated embers that could re-light in breezy conditions. These have the potential to cause major damage as they can get away when no-one is around. It can be months between when you had the original fire and it re-ignites.”

He is recommending a new National Rural Fire Authority website which gives quick access to fire statuses across New Zealand: www.checkitsalright.nz/check-fire-danger.

4 October 2017

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