29 Aug 2012

Just one fire engine exacerbates fire threat on Niue

1:31 pm on 29 August 2012

People on Niue are being warned not to light any unnecessary fires, because there is just one fire engine on the island.

A fire ban is being considered for Niue following months of very dry and windy weather and the Metservice has warned that there will be more months of dry weather.

Niue's National Disaster Management Council says it is on alert and residents are being asked not to light fires in plantations or around houses.

The secretary to government and the council's chair, Richard Hipa, says the situation is worsened by the fact there is just one fire engine on Niue, which needs to service the airport.

"Because if we don't have a fire engine, we don't have a flight, that's how serious the situation we have at the moment. It's just giving out that message to the people that if there's a fire out there somewhere the means of putting out a fire without a fire engine, we don't want to put the fire engine at risk, it will be very difficult to put the fire out. So best not to burn fires."

Richard Hipa says a replacement fire engine is expected in October.