Warning: Take care with fire

By Patrick O'Sullivan

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A 300sq m beach fire was illegally lit on Saturday night. Photo/Warren Buckland
A 300sq m beach fire was illegally lit on Saturday night. Photo/Warren Buckland

A flurry of careless fires has the Hawke's Bay fire service worried about a lack of common sense as the region enters its driest time of the year.

Napier fire service were called to a 300 sq m driftwood fire on the beach at Awatoto on Saturday night.

Napier fire service station officer Peter Draper said it was likely that the fire was deliberately lit.

"It's quite nice, sitting by the fire but people don't always put them out," he said.

"They are all well and truly gone by the time we arrive - they've scarpered."

He said even if fire did not spread, the fire posed a threat for beach goers the next day.

"The rocks retain the heat quite well and if a youngster is walking along in their bare feet they can get badly burned."

Both Napier City Council and Hastings District Council have entered restricted fire seasons from Monday last week.

In Napier a fire permit is needed for any fire or firework except for hangi or gas barbecues.

In Hastings District the same rules apply but fire permits are obtained from a Rural Fire Officer. Hastings fire service duty officer Colin Littlewood said if a permit was obtained common sense must prevail.

"Just because you have a permit doesn't mean you have to light a fire - you must take into account factors like wind and you must never leave it unattended," he said.

Responsible behaviour around fires lessened the chance of being liable for damage the fire caused or having to bear the cost of extinguishing the fire, he said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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