Hawke’s Bay residents are being urged not to burn fires in the open, especially at beaches this summer.
During December 2023 Fire and Emergency crews attended 23 vegetation fires, mainly along local beaches from Bay View to Te Awanga. This is compared to the nine vegetation fires crews attended in November 2023.
The primary cause of last month’s fires was people burning rubbish and woody debris.
Hawke’s Bay Community Risk Manager Nigel Hall says while the triggers have not been met for the region to enter a restricted fire season, there is cause for concern.
“Temperatures are continuing to rise and as we enter the busiest part of the fire season, our crews are spending a lot of time attending beach fires.”
“We need the public to be responsible and vigilant and not set fires that are going to require our attendance.
“In these conditions, fires will spread rapidly, grass and scrub are easily ignited, and fires will be difficult to control.”
Nigel Hall said Fire and Emergency is working closely with Napier City Council and Hawkes Bay Regional Council to remove waste wood from local beaches to prevent unwanted fires, and urges people not to burn them themselves.
Burning of rubbish is illegal under the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.
“Finally, please go to www.checkitalright.nz to check it is safe and legal to light fires where you are and to access safety advice.”