19 Jan 2020

Total fire ban for Central Otago as dry conditions increase risk

4:21 pm on 19 January 2020

A total fire ban is in force in Central Otago as dry conditions increase the risk of fire.

Lindis Pass View at the Highway 8, New Zealand, South Island, NZ

Central Otago's dry landscape near the summit of the Lindis Pass. Photo: 123RF

Fire and Emergency volunteers are on alert in the region and say blazes could easily start by lawn mowing, welding, or even hot car exhausts.

Deputy principal rural fire officer Bobby Lamont said high temperatures combined with long grass verges fuelled the risk of fire.

He said all that was needed now was an ignition source.

"Roadside lawn mowing, welding, grinding, a hot exhaust... cigarette butts have been known to cause fires," he said.

Lamont said people should follow the no-fire rule and not burn any garden waste.

He said gas BBQs were still fine to use.

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