Restricted fire season

by Ann van Engelen

Fire and Emergency NZ — Canterbury has advised that the Selwyn district is now in a Restricted Fire Season.

As of midnight Wednesday, March 4 the area of Selwyn returned to a Restricted Fire Season. A permit is required to light an open-air fire. You can check if your fire will need a permit by visiting checkitsalright.nz.

“Fire and Emergency NZ would like to remind the community that we are still in a period of high fire risk,” says Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer Al Hutt.

“Our biggest risk at the moment is the large quantity of standing crop stubble in paddocks, to this end Fire and Emergency NZ has reverted to a Restricted Fire Season while the current fire danger weather forecast allows, in order for farmers to reduce the fire risk by removing the crop stubble.

“Farmers need to apply for a permit and adhere to the requirements set out on the document. At this stage, only arable farmers who need to burn crop stubble will be issued a permit and only if the weather conditions are favourable.

“The risk of fire starting and spreading is still extremely high, and we advise those who need to use machinery to do so during the early morning hours when the relative humidity is high and the temperature is low.

“The fire season status will only be reviewed after significant rainfall. The areas of Hurunui, Waimakariri and Christchurch, including Banks Peninsula remain in a Prohibited Fire Season. No open-air fires are to be lit in this area unless it is one of the approved fire types.”