Source: Fire and Emergency New Zealand
A prohibited fire season has been declared for Hawke’s Bay. The change in fire season is effective from 12 noon today (Monday 10 February).
Principal Rural Fire Officer Trevor Mitchell says all fire permits have been suspended and a total fire ban in place.
"A prohibited fire season means no fires are permitted due to the extreme fire risk. During a prohibited fire season only gas and charcoal barbeques can be used".
"The recent fires we have had in the area are examples of why people need to be extra vigilant in these very hot and dry conditions."
It only takes a spark to start a devastating wildfire. That spark can come from a site of a historic controlled burn, power lines sagging into vegetation or equipment such as tractor mowers, lawnmowers, grinders, welding or even a plough.
It is vitally important that people understand these risks and take precautions.
"If anyone has had a controlled burn in the past two months, please check it is fully extinguished as these have the potential to flare up," says Trevor Mitchell.
"People should also look out for power lines sagging into vegetation and check electric fences for any shorts. Contact your power supplier if you have any concerns and if the wires are sparking or smoking, call 111 immediately."
It’s also important to make sure your home is fire safe.
"Protect your home by making sure your roofs and gutters are clear of dead leaves, debris and pine needles as these can create fuel for a fire. Move anything that could burn (such as mulch, leaves, firewood piles) away from exterior walls, decks or porches. Have a fire plan."
You can find more information on how you can reduce the risk of fire at www.checkitsalright.nz.