Restricted fire season for Auckland and Northland begins

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Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

A restricted fire season is in place for Auckland and Northland from today.

Fire and Emergency regional manager Ron Delvin says high winds in Northland are driving fire danger to extreme levels.

“There is a major risk in our Te Tai Tokerau Northland District of a fire occurring that will be very difficult to control.”

The restricted fire season means no open-air fires can be lit without a fire permit.

The restricted fire season covers the whole of Northland south of the Muri Whenua Zone, which is in a prohibited fire season.

Its boundary is the northern side of State Highway (SH) 10 from Taipa to Awanui, west of SH1 to Kaitaia, north side of Kaitaia-Awaroa Rd to Wainui, west side of Kaitaia-Awaroa Rd Wainui to Herekino, north side of the Herekino harbour.

The next few months will drier than usual for Auckland, causing fire danger to rise, Delvin said.

“For the greater Auckland area, weather forecasts show there is very little to no rain in the next 7 days with a long-range forecast of warmer temperatures.

“It is also forecast that in February to March, the fire season will have forty per cent less rain than normal with a greater wind speed which means the fire danger will be slightly above normal.

“As we have seen with recent fires, it takes a large number of our fire brigades, many of whom are volunteer, with supporting resources and aircraft to contain and control wildfires.”

Anyone considering lighting a fire was asked to [ check] the current fire season status and read the safety tips.

The restrictions were in place until further notice.

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