Change in fire season for the Far North

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Change in fire season for the Far North

All of Northland is now in a prohibited fire season.

As of 8am this morning (30 December 2020), the Far North moved to a prohibited fire season. The area was previously in a restricted fire season.

This means no open-air fires are permitted in Northland.

Last week, Fire and Emergency made the same change for Whangārei and Kaipara.

"It is very dry up in the Far North, and we want to take every step possible to reduce the risk of potentially dangerous fires, like we are dealing with at Ahipara," Principal Rural Fire Officer, Myles Taylor says.

"We have a lot of visitors in the area and they must understand the fire dangers around Northland."

"We need the people of Northland, and those holidaying in Northland, to do their part to prevent a wildfire this summer," Mr Taylor says.

Activities like lighting bonfires and camp fires are now banned in Northland.

Fire and Emergency encourages anyone camping to understand the area they are spending time in and create an escape plan.

"If you are staying somewhere you are unfamiliar with, you should look at safe escape routes from where you are staying."

"A fire can start quickly and at any time of the day, and an escape plan away from your accommodation can be a lifesaver."

"Just yesterday (29 December), we evacuated around 100 properties at Ahipara," Mr Taylor says.

Myles Taylor also has a simple message for people who use fire as a tool to burn rubbish.

"Don’t."

"Last year we went to more than 100 rubbish fires around the Far North."

"Those fires were unnecessary, and we don’t want to see a repeat of those high numbers this summer."

A ban on private use of fireworks also remains in place in the Karikari peninsula and Ahipara township.

Go to www.checkitsalright.nz for more tips on how you can reduce the risk of fire this summer.