Fire restrictions change

by Anonymous Author

A total fire ban in Selwyn has been rescinded following the recent wet weather.

A restricted fire season has been introduced in rural Selwyn replacing the prohibited fire season previously in place.

“The recent rain has helped reduce the fire risk so it is appropriate to move to a restricted fire season,” Principal Rural Fire Officer Douglas Marshall said.

Under a restricted fire season, only gas barbecues, crop residue and rubbish fires inside contained drums are allowed in rural areas of Selwyn. Any other fires can only be lit if a permit has been obtained from Selwyn District Council. 

“Crop stubble fires are permitted in a restricted fire season but landowners need to be careful to ensure there is a fire break of 10 clear metres around the edge of the fire to prevent it spreading,” Mr Marshall said.

“Property owners need to check the weather conditions and be careful to avoid burning on hot days or when strong winds are forecast.”

He said anyone breaching fire restrictions may potentially face a fine of $1,150, which is set by the council and applies even for a small fire. “During the next few weeks people may see crop residue fires burning. Fire services are often called out to attend rural fires that are being supervised and managed appropriately.

“It’s expensive and time consuming for volunteer firefighters to attend false call-outs, so we encourage people to consider whether a fire is an emergency before they dial 111.”

A full list of fire safety guidelines that must be followed is available at selwyn.govt.nz/fire.