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Prohibited fire season for Waihaorunga Zone in Mid-South Canterbury

The Waihaorunga Zone in Mid-South Canterbury will be moving to a prohibited fire season from 11.59pm Wednesday 6 March, until further notice.

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

Declaring the fire season change, Fire and Emergency New Zealand District Manager Rob Hands says February and March are typically the hottest and driest months of the year, and the fire risk is increasing daily.

“Fine fuels across the Waihaorunga Zone are mostly all dried out now,” he says.

“As they continue to dry out, there is a high chance of a fire starting that will be difficult to contain and extinguish.

“Even a significant rainfall will have little long-term impact on the dried vegetation.”

The prohibited fire season continues in the Mackenzie Basin, Hakataramea Valley, Rangitata Gorge and Ashburton inland hill country, while the restricted fire season continues in the Ashburton and Timaru coastal and foothills zone of Mid-South Canterbury.

A fireworks ban is in place in the Mackenzie Basin until 31 March 2024.

Rob Hands also wants to remind people the Geraldine Forest Zone, the Waimate Forest Zone and all Public Conservation Lands are in a restricted fire season all year round.

“We’re asking people not to carry out activities which 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,” Rob Hands says.

Go to www.checkitsalright.nz to check which fire season your location is in and for further tips on how to stay fire safe.


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