The Southland District will enter a restricted fire season from 8am on Wednesday 20 December, until further notice.
A restricted fire season means anyone planning on lighting an open-air fire will need to apply for and obtain a permit. You can apply for one at www.checkitsalright.nz.
Declaring the restricted fire season, Fire and Emergency New Zealand Southland District Manager Julian Tohiariki says there’s an increased amount of vegetation as a result of the wetter and warmer spring – all of it readily available to burn.
“There are strong winds, warmer temperatures, and below average rainfall in the forecast for Southland, which all leads to vegetation drying out quickly and creating a fast-moving fire,” he says.
“We’ve also seen fires that were thought to be extinguished reignite from strong winds in the past, and we don’t want to see that this summer.”
The Southland District Council has already imposed a sprinkler ban to ensure there is enough water throughout this warmer and windier summer season.
“Even if you do obtain a fire permit, you should always check the conditions before lighting.
“You should also make sure your fire is completely extinguished before leaving it unattended, especially if the wind picks up,” Julian Tohiariki says.
You can check the weather conditions and find out more about what you can and can’t do during a restricted fire season at www.checkitsalright.nz.