Wed, Jan 10, 2024 10:32 AM

Prohibited fire season for Marlborough South


Staff reporter

Fire and Emergency New Zealand moved the Marlborough South zone to a prohibited fire season from 8am on Wednesday, 10 January, until further notice.

And as the weather heats up this weekend, firefighters are telling Marlburians to be extra caution about any possible ignition points and sources of sparks.

Local firefighters have already had fires already burning through vegetation across the region this summer and expect the dry conditions to continue despite light rain due on Sunday, according to Metservice.

The Wairau Diversion Campsite vegetation fire on the 5th of January closed the freedom camping site until late February, while Monday saw firefighters from across the region called out to two seperate vegetation fires in the Waihopai Valley and Saturday saw a vegetation fire in the Wairau Valley area.

A prohibited fire season means a total ban on outdoor fires and all previously granted fire permits are suspended.

The Marlborough South zone encompasses all land in the Marlborough District to the south of the Wairau River, including the flat land from the Eastern side of State Highway 1 from Tuamarina to Rarangi. It also includes Department of Conservation land, but excludes Defence land at the Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Woodbourne.

The zone incorporates the following fire permit zones:

- Central Marlborough Rural

- Central Marlborough Urban

- Wither Hills

- Lower Wairau

- Marlborough West

If anyone is unsure if their property sits in the south zone, they can visit and enter their address to check.

While declaring the prohibited season, Fire and Emergency’s Marlborough Group Manager Chris Hayles is asking the public to check any old fires to ensure they are fully extinguished.

"With the hot and dry weather we have been experiencing we have very high fire danger".

"Fires will start and spread very easily and could be extremely difficult to contain".

"Rake the area out and apply water," he says.

"There is a lot more dry material around than last year. Avoid any activity that is heat producing in dry areas, for example welding, grinding, or parking vehicles in long dry grass."

A reminder if you see any signs of smoke to call 111.

If you are unsure if it is safe to undertake spark-generating activity, or to light up your barbecue, go to www.checkitsalright.nzto check the local fire danger and fire season status.

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