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Total Fire Ban for the entire Wairoa District

A total fire ban is now in place for the entire Wairoa district says Wairoa District Council Rural Fire Officer, Paul van Dorrestein.

The total fire ban means that fires cannot be lit in the open.

“A total fire ban has been imposed on the entire Hawke’s Bay region, including the Wairoa district, effective Saturday 14 January.”

“Weather conditions mean it will continue to be hot and dry with little relief in the forecast.”

“Forests, grass and scrub across the district are tinder dry and we saw what can happen with the situation out at Mahanga recently.”

“It’s not worth the risk and the fire danger is pretty real and serious. We just need to make sure we keep people and their properties safe”, says Mr van Dorrestein.

A total fire ban means no outdoor fires can be lit without the express written permission of the Principal Rural Fire Officer. The ban includes fireworks, charcoal and wood barbecues, pizza ovens, braziers and chimenea, traditional cooking fires for, hangi and umu.

"No permits will be issued, and all open-air fires are prohibited until further notice. Total fire ban signs will go up across the district and we really want people to take heed of the message about the total fire ban season.”

“Gas barbeques may be used without a permit, but caution is advised.”

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

“Anyone caught lighting a fire will be held responsible for putting that fire out, while there is a range of costs depending on the size of the fire the minimum charge is $200.”

"If people see smoke call 111 immediately”, says Mr van Dorrestein.

Ends

For more information:

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

13 January 2017

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