As the weather heats up, a ban on outdoor fires is in place for Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes areas from tomorrow, while Southland enters a restricted season from today.
The Lakes and Central fire zones will move to a Prohibited Fire Season from 8am on Thursday until further notice, meaning a total ban on outdoor fires. All previously granted fire permits will be suspended.
These zones include the towns and areas surrounding Queenstown, Wānaka, Hawea, Cromwell, Clyde, Alexandra, Roxburgh, Omakau, Ranfurly and Naseby.
A ban on the use of private fireworks within the Queenstown-Lakes and Otago Central zones is also in effect from 8am Friday.
Warmer and drier weather has increased the risk of fire danger in Central Otago and Queenstown areas.
District manager Phil Marsh says the warmer and drier weather has increased the risk of fire danger in these zones.
“Although it has been warm and wet to-date, the weather is changing now to be hotter and drier.
“This means if we get windy days, it will exacerbate the fire conditions, and fire can spread at more rapid rates.
Marsh says the long history of significant vegetation fires in the area show how careful people need to be at this time of year – especially lighting fireworks.
“It only takes one spark to start a wildfire.
“If wildfires do start, they can pose significant risk to life and property.”
The bans apply to everyone visiting the region – locals and holidaymakers alike.
“Whether you live here, or if you’re visiting our beautiful part of the country, please do your bit this summer to keep everyone safe.”
- Otago Daily Times