Source: Fire and Emergency New Zealand
New Zealanders are being urged to take practical steps to lower the risk of fires this summer.
National Wildfire Manager Tim Mitchell says that everyone has a part to play in helping protect our property, environment and lives.
“No matter where you’re spending summer this year, there are things you can do to keep us all safe,” he says. “Just one spark can mean a fire disaster, and nobody wants to see that.
“Before lighting an outdoor fire, go to www.checkitsalright.nz first to see the local fire danger level and whether there are any restrictions in place. If the fire danger is high, very high or extreme, it’s best to find a better day.
“If it’s ok for you to do that activity, make sure you follow any advice provided, including extinguishing the fire properly.”
Last summer, a major fire at Waiharara in Northland was caused by a controlled burn-off that hadn’t been properly extinguished. Around 2800ha was destroyed – more than half of which was a wetland conservation area.
Fireworks are already banned in some areas of the country this summer, so people making plans for New Year’s Eve celebrations will need to check the restrictions for their neighbourhood.
The fire at Pegasus Beach in November 2022 was caused by fireworks, destroying more than 130ha of coastal scrub and threatening local homes.
Tim Mitchell says there are also practical steps that property owners can take to lower the risk of fires spreading.
“Let’s all do our bit and not be that person who caused a wildfire.”