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Parts of Nelson Tasman move to a prohibited fire season – FENZ

The Coastal, Waimea and Nelson North zones in Nelson Tasman move to a prohibited fire season from 6am on Saturday 17 February, until further notice.

A prohibited fire season means no outdoor fires are allowed and all fire permits are suspended.

Announcing the prohibited fire season for these areas, District Manager Grant Haywood says persistent hot and dry weather, above average winds and below average rainfall has increased the fire danger.

“We’ve had a heavy build-up of grass across these areas following the wet winter and spring which has now dried out and is posing a significant fire risk,” he says.

“These are the conditions where wildfires start easily and can quickly get very difficult to control,” he says.

“For example the recent Lee Valley fire on 7 February started from sparks igniting roadside grass and then spreading into forestry.

“While a prohibited fire season should reduce the likelihood of unwanted fires, we have a history of large, fast-moving fires in the area at this time of year and we’re asking people to make sure they are prepared,” he says.

“This is particularly important for people living in rural areas and on the edges of towns where the potential for fires to start and spread quickly to adjacent properties is very high.”

Grant Haywood asks that people be cautious and not 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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