Extremely dry conditions coupled with low soil moisture and river levels have prompted a restricted fire season for Hastings District.
Hastings District Council principal rural fire officer Trevor Mitchell said the restricted season would begin at 8am this Monday.
"The long-range forecast indicates that we may get some periods of patchy rain, but no significant rainfall is expected in the near future," Mr Mitchell said. "Strong winds are also a major concern, as they can reignite embers from fires that were not properly extinguished and spread the flames very quickly. We are now entering a period of higher fire danger and we ask that everyone is extra vigilant when dealing with fires. During the restricted fire season, a permit must be obtained before a fire is lit.
"However, anyone lighting a small fire in a container [such as an incinerator or brazier], a gas barbecue, or a similar outdoor gas appliance won't need to obtain a permit unless the fire is set to burn after sunset and before sunrise. These fires must not be left unattended until completely extinguished and must not be lit in windy conditions or close to flammable material or buildings."
Anyone on a rural property contemplating lighting a fire should seek advice from a rural fire officer on (06) 871 5000.
Further information on the lighting of fires during a restricted fire season is available at www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/fire-restrictions