12 Jan 2017

Total fire ban along East Coast

8:19 am on 12 January 2017

A total fire ban has been put in place across the Hawke's Bay and Gisborne regions.

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A house was destroyed by a large scrub fire in Mahanga over the weekend. Photo: RNZ / Liz Brown

The Eastern Regional Rural Fire Committee says forests, grass and scrub are tinder dry and hot conditions are forecast to continue.

Chairman Trevor Mitchell said call-outs to fires had been increasing, putting strain on firefighters.

He said in recent days there had been a fire which burned through nine hectares of olive trees, and a barn full of hay in Clive was lost to flames.

A house and about 25 hectares of avocados and grass in Mahanga were burnt on Sunday, and another house was lost in a fire in Hastings.

Mr Mitchell said a total fire ban was in place, meaning no outdoor fires without the written permission of the principal rural fire officer.

Further south, the Marlborough District Council has put a total fire ban in place in the area south of the Wairau River, including urban and rural areas.