The whole of Canterbury will move into a Restricted Fire Season tomorrow (Thursday 26 January) due to the increasing risk of wildfire.
District Manager Dave Stackhouse says that the current and forecast weather conditions, along with drying vegetation, have reached the threshold to place restrictions on outdoor fires.
“We have seen an increase in the number of rural fires and they are getting harder for our crews to get on top of and contain,” he says. “The weather is forecast to get hotter over the coming days, with 30 degrees predicted on Thursday and Friday, and into next week.”
The whole of Canterbury is covered by the Restricted Fire Season from the Rakaia River north, including the hill and high country, the foothills and Canterbury Plains, Banks Peninsula and the Port Hills, Christchurch city and the Kaikoura Plains. It also includes all areas of production forestry.
In a Restricted Fire Season, a permit is required for all outdoor fires. Dave Stackhouse says that anyone who is issued a permit for a planned fire still has to take great care, follow all of the conditions listed on the permit, and only light up when the conditions are favourable. “They need to watch the weather forecast and avoid lighting a fire when strong winds are forecast or temperatures are going to be high.”
www.checkitsalright.nz website has detailed advice on safety when lighting outdoor fires, and will also show what restrictions are in place for lighting outdoor fires in every part of the country.