Source: Fire and Emergency New Zealand
A prohibited fire season has been declared for Manawatū, Rangitikei and Palmerston North districts. The change in fire season is effective from 8am tomorrow (Wednesday 12 February).
Principal Rural Fire Officer Bradley Shanks says all fire permits are suspended in those areas while the prohibited fire season is in place.
"A prohibited fire season means no fires are permitted as the fire danger is too high," Bradley Shanks says. "During a prohibited fire season only gas and charcoal barbeques can be used".
"The fire on Brandon Hall and Pukepapa roads over the weekend is an example of why people need to be extra careful in these hot and dry conditions."
In these extreme conditions it only takes a spark to start a devastating wildfire. That spark can come from a site of a historic controlled burn or equipment such as a lawnmower, grinder, 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 Bradley Shanks.
"Making sure your roofs and gutters are clear of dead leaves, debris and pine needles will help protect your home 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."
Horowhenua District will remain in a restricted fire season meaning they still need to take caution and apply for a fire permit.
You can find more information on how you can reduce the risk of fire at www.checkitsalright.nz.