Don’t be Fooled by Wet Weather – Prepare for the Fire Season Now

Published: 07-Jan-2019

Don’t be fooled by the wet weather – prepare for the fire season now.  With summer approaching, Waimakariri residents can expect hot, dry days and an increasing risk of fire in the months ahead.

Waimakariri District Council and Fire and Emergency New Zealand are urging residents to be aware of fire dangers, in spite of recent rain, as conditions can change rapidly during hotter conditions.

Fire and Emergency Principal Rural Fire Officer Bruce Janes says it’s very likely there will be fires in the district over the summer period, as we’ve experienced in previous years.

“Don’t be fooled by all the rain and cooler temperatures. All that moisture means lots of growth that, when summer does decide to show – it will rapidly dry off and become a lot of available fuel for any wild fire that may come along.

"There are some simple things you can do to reduce the risk of fire at your property,” Mr Janes says.

“When you’re working on your property or in the garden, keep machinery well maintained to reduce potential sparks, and mow lawns in cooler conditions.

“You should also assess the risk of fire to your property and get rid of any shrubs, long grass or trees near your home which could burn easily. Having an escape plan for your family and pets is also vital,” he says.

The Fire and Emergency website (www.fireandemergency.nz) has important information about how to reduce fire risk.

To report long grass or any other fire hazard, people can fill out an online Fire and Emergency form via www.fireandemergency.nz/at-home/overgrown-sections.

Following the merger of rural and urban fire services on 1 July 2017, Fire and Emergency New Zealand is now responsible for rural firefighting, including the issuing of permits. The Council is supporting Fire and Emergency to provide the public with information to stay safe during the summer fire season and provide some resources during fire incidents.