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Restricted fire season imposed for Mahia, Opoutama and Mahanga

A restricted fire season will be in force this week in the Mahia, Opoutama and Mahanga area says new Wairoa District Council Rural Fire Officer, Paul van Dorrestein.

The restricted fire season means fires cannot be lit in the open without a fire permit.

People planning fires at functions during the holidays are being advised to contact Wairoa District Council well in advance to find out if a permit is required.

It takes about three days to process a permit and none will be issued during the Council close down period so get your permit now.

Restricted fire signs have already gone up in the Mahia, Opoutama and Mahanga area and we really want people to take heed of the message about the restricted fire season.

"If people have any concerns, they should contact me at council and I can assist you through the process,” says Mr van Dorrestein.

"We would much rather have constructive conversations now than have to deal with a problem on a windy day over Christmas."

“Applying for a fire permit is really easy, we have an online request form on our website and you can call the office and discuss your requirements with me over the phone. Or you can still pop into the office and I’ll be available to answer any questions or walk you through getting a fire permit. We’re trying to make it a really simple process and it’s free to apply for a permit.”

“Just pay attention and be vigilant, nothing worse than a fire getting out of control and causing so much damage or even worse causing injury, when it could have all been avoided.”

“We really must commend the work of our rural volunteer fire fighters. They are all volunteers and they do so much for us. We also have to acknowledge our forestry fire fighters. It’s a tough job to make sure our community is safe from fire during the summer season.”

“We had a couple of issues with working with the community last year, but on the whole everyone tends to be aware of the conditions.”

“No permits will be issued for lighting fires on beaches and anyone caught lighting a fire on any of beaches in the Mahia, Opoutama, Mahanga area will be held responsible for putting that fire out, this can be in the range of $200 minimum.”

“The forecast is for an extremely dry summer, which will test our fire fighters throughout the summer season. It’s potentially going to be a busy summer for our fire fighters and we just have to be aware now. People are requested to be extremely careful.

“Although the current restricted fire season has only been imposed on the Mahia and Mahanga area, the current weather forecast and conditions suggests that the rest of the district will soon follow.”

“The main message we want the community to understand is to be aware of the conditions when lighting a fire and to take the necessary precautions to be safe,” says Mr van Dorrestein.

For more information:

Paul van Dorrestein
Rural Fire Offier
Wairoa District Council
(06) 838 7309

Kitea Tipuna
Communications Strategist
Wairoa District Council
(06) 838 7309

5 July 2016

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