Although Wairarapa Fire Brigades have had a number of callouts over the past two days, the vast majority were false alarms or non-fire related. One job in Masterton yesterday, for example, involved assisting a resident with flooding that one crew member described as “a puddle”, noting “We’re not going to win any awards for that one.”
However, there were three callouts yesterday to respond to vegetation fires.
The first – a small fire in long grass – was at 12.20am at Te Awaiti, that was contained by the local Tora Rural Fire Force [an appliance from Featherston and a tanker from Carterton were dispatched but not required].
The second was at 2.17am, in response to reports of a small fire in Masterton’s Queen Elizabeth Park, although no further details were available at print time.
The third was a small grass fire that was burning on the side of the road at Matahiwi and only required a single appliance from Masterton station to extinguish, thanks to it being quickly reported.
However, a Masterton fire crew member told the Times-Age, these incidents – although minor – “all serve as timely reminders that, as we enter into the hot summer period, everyone should have heightened awareness about the danger of fires getting quickly out of control”.
“As it gets hotter and drier, grass and vegetation quickly turns into fuel, so if you notice any suspicious smoke, don’t hesitate to call 111.”
Those lighting fires can go to www.checkitsalright.nz, for a three-step guide as to whether it’s safe to light a fire, and whether you’ll need a permit.