11 Jan 2010

Total fire ban close in Gisborne

2:48 pm on 11 January 2010

The Gisborne region is on the verge of a total fire ban.

Gisborne District Council says conditions in the area are so dry, the risk of fire is extremely high.

Without a significant change in the current weather pattern, principal fire officer Rene Londeman says a total fire ban will be introduced in a week or two.

Even if rain forecast for Gisborne this week arrives, Mr Londeman says it will delay the declaration by only a few days.

He says forestry workers who have previously training, are likely to be put on standby to help with firefighting.

On Saturday, a fire lit by a group of children in Gisborne came close to endangering 10 houses.

And police say a fire last Thursday that burned four hectares of scrub was suspicious.