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Outdoor fires prohibited in Central and Coast Hawke’s Bay

Rural Central Hawke’s Bay and Hawke’s Bay Coast move to a prohibited fire season from midday on Monday 25 March, until further notice. See map attached.

A prohibited fire season means no fires in the open are allowed and all fire permits are suspended.

Announcing the fire season change, Fire and Emergency New Zealand Community Risk Manager Nigel Hall says the areas have dried out rapidly and there is no significant long-term rain forecasted in the next 10 days.

“Hot and strong windy conditions are forecast to continue in Hawke’s Bay which means a wildfire will start more easily, spread faster and be more difficult to control,” he says.

“A prohibited season will stop large scale burns from landowners that have been harvesting trees in the recent months or still cleaning up from Cyclone Gabrielle. Burning these heavy fuels now or in the coming weeks may lead to long duration events.

“We want to reduce the risk of fast-moving grass fires in hill country and on the Central Hawkes Bay plains. 

Nigel Hall says the rest of the District remains in a restricted fire season, with the exception of Tararua East that is already in a prohibited fire season.

A restricted season means you need a permit approved by Fire and Emergency New Zealand to light an outdoor fire.

“I remind people who have a permit to light an outdoor fire to fully read the permit and any conditions that have been applied, and advise Fire and Emergency that the permit is being activated as per the permit conditions before they light to save our crews responding to 111 calls about permitted fires,” he says.

Some fire types are allowed in a prohibited fire season. These include gas barbecues, hāngī, umu or lovo and drum incinerators – but with a lid.

“But we urge people to take extra care when lighting such outdoor fires. Keep them away from anything flammable and have water on hand to extinguish it,” Nigel Hall says.


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