Our 3-Step Escape Plan

  • First Escape Route
  • Second Escape Route
  • Meeting Place

Use this space to note any additional information about your escape plan, i.e. who will assist

Your checklist
  • Get low

    Smoke is poisonous and more deadly than flames.

    If you breathe smoke for more than a few breaths it can kill you.

  • Be fast

    A house fire can kill you in less than three minutes.

    Don't spend time trying to save possessions.

  • Close doors

    A closed door buys you time.

    It slows down the spread of fire, giving you more time to get to safety.

  • Get out - stay out!

    People have died by going back into a fire.

    Don't leave the meeting place to go back inside for any reason.

Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Completion of a new sprinkler system reducing risk of wildfire at Lake Clearwater

Completion of a new sprinkler system reducing risk of wildfire at Lake Clearwater

The project to create a sprinkler system fire break, to protect the community at Lake Clearwater and Hakatere Conservation Park has now been completed.

The sprinkler system covers a 300-metre long and 15-metre wide strip along the western side of Lake Clearwater village and creates a green fire break that will provide greater protection to the village from a North-West wind driven wildfire, and also protection to the public conservation land adjacent to the village from a fire starting within the village.

Lake Clearwater Hutholder’s Association, Ashburton District Council, the Department of Conservation and Fire and Emergency New Zealand identified a number of risks in the event of a significant wildfire as part of a wider Lake Clearwater Community Emergency Plan. This highlighted that one fire hazard mitigation was to create fire breaks.

Located in the Hakatere Conservation Park, Lake Clearwater is a holiday community of 168 baches and a camping ground. The settlement population can reach around 3,000 during its peak summer season, including campers around the Lake Camp shoreline.

Don Geddes, Fire and Emergency Senior Advisor Risk Reduction for Mid-South Canterbury says the influx of visitors to the area during the summer months creates heightened levels of fire hazard.

This means more people are carrying out spark and heat generating activities, like off road 4x4 driving, motorcycle riding and cooking outside. Many visitors are also not aware of fire danger risks.

“The community decided a sprinkler system was the preferred option for a fire break as it has no impact on the environment and requires little maintenance,” Don Geddes says.

The community had partial funding for the project from Ashburton District Council and will maintain the fire break.

“This has been a long process and wouldn’t have been possible without the community, Department of Conservation, Ashburton District Council and Fire and Emergency, especially our crew doing the groundwork, particularly Greg Brake, Rural Controller at Lake Clearwater Volunteer Fire Brigade,” Don Geddes says.