All of North Island now in restricted fire season

A prohibited fire season was declared for the Bay of Plenty Coast, Central Lakes, and Pumicelands on February 3. File photo.

The entire North Island and most of the South is now in either a Prohibited or Restricted fire season after Wellington declared a restricted season effective 8am Friday, February 14.

Manager Rural Fire, Tim Mitchell says the hot and dry conditions have created extreme fire risk, including in areas such as Northland, Auckland and Waikato which haven’t traditionally experienced such extreme fire danger for an extended period.

A prohibited fire season was declared for the Bay of Plenty Coast, Central Lakes, and Pumicelands on February 3.

"Please pay attention to the fire season.

"If you are in an area where there is a prohibited fire season there is a total fire ban. No fires are permitted, including rubbish fires. This is because there is a very real risk that in the current conditions a fire could easily spread and get out of control.

"If you are in an area where there is a Restricted fire season you will require a permit if you need to light a fire. You may also have to comply with specific conditions on your permit so you can light your fire safely. You can apply for one at www.checkitsalright.nz."

The fire seasons can change with the weather forecasts and conditions. Check the latest fire season in your area at www.checkitsalright.nz.

Tim says all New Zealanders are urged to be careful and take precautions to prevent a fire starting or getting out of control.

"It only takes one spark to start a fire so don’t risk it. Some routine activities like driving vehicles through roadside vegetation or machinery work, can cause a fire in these extremely dry conditions.

"If you have to use any machinery that could spark such as lawnmowers, welding, or even a plough, in the morning or evenings - during the cooler parts of the day.

"Make sure any permitted fires or historic burn sites from the past two months are fully extinguished. Even though they may seem out they have the potential to remain hot and flare up in these conditions."

You can find more about the fire season status in your area and information about how you can reduce the risk of fire at www.checkitsalright.nz.

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