PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

PAM GRAHAM
pam.graham@age.co.nz

The hot weather is forcing a change in the fire risk status in the region.

Wairarapa’s rural and urban areas will move to a restricted fire season status from Monday.

Tararua continues with an open fire season.

A restricted season means for certain types of outdoor fires you need to get a fire permit, said Harry Howard, deputy principal rural fire officer at Fire and Emergency NZ.

FENZ now looks after the fire permits for everywhere, having taken over from councils and the former Wairarapa Rural Fire District.

“Even during a restricted, and in some cases a prohibited fire season, you can still actually have certain types of outside fires,” he said.

You don’t need a permit for a pizza oven in a restricted fire season as long as it is not near anything flammable and you have a hose nearby to put it out.

He said the wet spring had produced a lot of vegetation growth that had now dried out and posed a risk.

People can check the status of their area on http://www.checkitsalright.nz/