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Wednesday, March 6, 2024
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Fire ban extends to entire region

All of Wairarapa moves into a prohibited fire season as of 8am this morning.

A prohibited fire season means no open-air fires are allowed, and all fire permits are revoked.

The restrictions will remain in force until further notice.

Last week, a prohibited fire season was declared for the Wairarapa coast, while the rest of the region remained in a restricted fire season in which permits were required for any open-air fires.

Several recent vegetation fires in Wairarapa have highlighted the increasing fire danger, Wellington District community risk manager Philip Soal said.

“The region is experiencing hot, dry, and windy weather, and vegetation will continue to dry out over the coming weeks.

“It is in these conditions where we see wildfires start and spread very quickly.”

Wairarapa residents and visitors are asked to take extra care as the dry weather continues and not to engage in any activities that could pose a fire risk – like mowing, welding, and driving through long grass.

“We also ask farmers and contractors in the area to be aware of the high fire danger because routine activities could cause a spark that would easily set the grass on fire,” Soal said.

If machinery work can’t be deferred, then it is best to carry out operations in the early morning when the temperature is lower, and the humidity is higher.

People can also take simple steps to make their properties easier to defend against fire.

This includes:

Clearing flammable material from 10m around homes and buildings;

Moving firewood that’s stacked against houses;

Clearing gutters of dried leaves and other material that will easily catch fire;

Clearing flammable material from under decks;

Trimming trees and bushes, and then removing the trimmings;

Keeping grass short [using a trimmer with a nylon line is safer in these conditions than a mower or trimmer with a metal blade that could create a spark].

For further information, and tips on how to stay ‘fire safe’, go to www.checkitsalright.nz.

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