7 Jan 2015

Total fire ban for Selwyn

5:45 pm on 7 January 2015

A total fire ban has been slapped on the Selwyn district in Canterbury as of today because of high fire risk.

The district council said no outdoor fires were allowed, which included the burn-off of crop stubble.

Gas barbecues with a water source nearby were allowed but not charcoal barbecues and all previously issued fire permits were cancelled.

The district's deputy principal rural fire officer, Douglas Marshall, said vegetation in the area was very dry.

Water restrictions were also being imposed on Selwyn residents to cope with a summer shortage.

The district council's assets manager, Murray Washington, said the long dry spell had significantly increased demand for water irrigation at peak times.

He said the restrictions would help to smooth demand for water use more evenly through the day.

Mr Washington said there had been very high demand, which peaked in the morning and evening when people decided to water their lawns and gardens.

He said, if they must do that, it was best to do it between midnight and 6am, when the water would not all just evaporate.

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