8 Mar 2013

Fire bans for Wellington and Horowhenua

6:38 am on 8 March 2013

Wellington Regional Council has imposed a total ban on outdoor fires in the region, effective from 8am on Friday.

Rachael Thorp, chair of the rural fire co-ordinating committee, says fire-risk conditions have been elevated to extreme due to weeks of hot weather and little rainfall.

Open fires will be banned, including cooking fires such as hangi, incinerators, campfires and fireworks. Gas barbecues will be exempt from the ban.

Ms Thorp says all fire permits perviously issued are suspended and the ban will remain in place until there is a decent period of rainfall and the fire danger passes.

People breaching the ban will be liable, on conviction, to six months' imprisonment and a fine of $2000, she says.

Meanwhile, Horowhenua District Council has declared a total fire ban for all of the district.

It begins at midnight on Friday and covers the area from Tokomaru to Manakau and stretching from the coast up to the Tararua Range.

No fires are to be lit, except for gas barbecues in properly constructed containers.

All fire permits issued before Thursday will be cancelled.