29 Aug 2012

Full fire ban possible in Niue because of extended dry spell

3:00 pm on 29 August 2012

A fire ban is being considered for Niue following months of very dry and windy weather.

The situation is also worsened by the fact there is just one fire engine on Niue.

Niue's National Disaster Management Council says it's been told by the Metservice that there will be more months of dry weather.

The secretary to government and the council's chair, Richard Hipa, says they are on the alert and are considering asking the government to have a full ban on lighting fires in Niue.

He says for now, they are monitoring the situation and have asked people to not light fires in plantations or around the home.

"Some people, when they are clearing areas for planting also they do burn bush, this is the old traditional way, but it means if the fire is uncontrolled and they can't put it out the fire will and could rapidly burn out into the bush area, and it will make it difficult with the current situation with a lot of wind to put the fire out."

Richard Hipa says a decision on a full ban on fires will be made in about three weeks time.