24 Mar 2010

Strong winds on East Coast cause fire concerns

10:09 pm on 24 March 2010

Strong winds on the east coast of the North Island dramatically increased the fire risk levels, causing the Gisborne District Council to put all fire permits on hold on Wednesday.

The total rainfall in Gisborne for March is less than 20% of the monthly average, and winds were expected to reach 70 km/h in exposed areas on Wednesday afternoon.

Gisborne rural fire officer Rene Londeman says fires could spread very quickly in the windy conditions.