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Coastal Waitaki moves to a prohibited fire season – FENZ

Coastal Waitaki moves to a prohibited fire season from 8am Monday 19 February, until further notice.

A prohibited season means no out-door fires are allowed.

Declaring the fire season change, District Manager Phil Marsh says there’s a great deal of very dry vegetation in the zone already which is a significant fire risk.

“Westerly winds are forecast for the remainder of summer and into autumn for Coastal Waitaki, which will further dry out the vegetation,” he says.

“That increases the likelihood of a fire starting and rapidly becoming difficult to control.”

“Coastal Waitaki has several areas of higher fire risk – rural properties on the edge of towns where the potential for fires to start and spread to adjacent properties is very high, like the outskirts of Oamaru, Shag Point and Moeraki.

“We also have several areas of forestry which would be a challenge for ground-based response to a wildfire,” Phil Marsh says.

“If there’s a fire, our crews will always respond. But we’d like to reduce the likelihood of that happening.

“We’re asking people not to carry out activities that pose a fire risk, such as mowing, welding, and driving through long grass.

“But if you must mow your lawn or undertake any farm activity that’s likely to generate sparks, do it first thing in the morning when it is still cool,” he says.

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 stacked against houses

– Clearing gutters of dried leaves etc that will easily catch fire

– Clearing flammable material from under decks

– Trimming trees and bushes and 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)

Go to www.checkitsalright.nz for further tips on how to stay fire safe.


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