Two small fires have highlighted that the extended dry weather in Hawke's Bay is still not over, despite the cold snap over the weekend.
The first was in toetoe and grass alongside State Highway 2 between Putorino and Kotemaori, north of Napier. It was reported at 11.10pm on Monday and occupied the volunteer Putorino Rural Fire Party for a short time, chief officer Gary Mackintosh saying it was confined to an area of barely 10sq m. The Wairoa Volunteer Fire Brigade was also called, but was ultimately not needed at the scene.
The second was yesterday morning.
The Havelock North Volunteer Fire Brigade was called at 9.16am to a small smouldering fire in tree prunings off Durham Drive. Chief fire officer Rod Triplow said that while a crew from the Heretaunga Rural Fire Force was also used, the main concern had been smoke in the area.
The fires happened with still little sign of rain, with national forecasting agency MetService yesterday still predicting peak temperatures on the Heretaunga Plains could return to over 20deg tomorrow and Friday, with overnight temperatures likely to be no lower than 10deg.
Although some rain is forecast for Friday, most of Hawke's Bay is expected to experience another mainly fine and sunny weekend, at a time of year when there is often significant rain.
While rainfall in the first half of June last year was also light, it was in 2013 and 2014 much heavier, particularly in Hastings, Central Hawke's Bay and Northern Hawke's Bay, where more than half the June average had fallen in the first fortnight of the month.
Volunteer firefighters attended two fires in vegetation late on Monday and yesterday.