Wednesday, 10 March 2010

DCC declares total fire ban

DCC declares total fire ban

The Dunedin City Council has been monitoring the fire risk across the
city. It has now reached the point where a prohibited fire season
(total fire ban) has been imposed over the entire Dunedin City Council
area, since 6:00am Tuesday 9 March.

The coastal areas of the city are now so dry a fire ban is needed to
ensure safety. Long-range weather forecasts offer no relief, with
only sporadic, small amounts of rain forecast.

The ban covers all rural areas and all urban areas of the city.

All Dunedin City Council rural fire permits that were in force are now
suspended and no applications for new permits or renewals of permits
will be accepted until the ban has been lifted.

This means that no outdoor fire may be lit or left alight anywhere in
Dunedin City until the ban is lifted. The ban includes charcoal and
wood-fired barbecues, braziers, incinerators, campfires and
thermettes.

Gas barbecues and cookers may be used but people are urged to keep
them clear of combustible materials.

Other activities that pose a high risk of fire include:

- The use of vehicles off-road

- The use of petrol chainsaws and mowers (the exhaust systems may
ignite dry materials)

- The disposal of cigarette butts


Anybody seeing a fire outdoors during the ban is asked to call 111
immediately to report it, as fires will spread rapidly in the current
conditions.

It will take a significant number of days of rainfall to lower the
fire risk so it should not be assumed that a heavy rainfall will lead
to lowered risk and the lifting of the ban.

The status of the ban will be available from the Dunedin City Council
Customer Services Agencies on 477 4000 or at www.dunedin.govt.nz.
Public notice will be given of the lifting of the ban.


For more information

Graeme Still, Principal Rural Fire Officer

Neil Brown, Manager, Civil Defence and Rural Fires

(03) 474 3111

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