For the first time in a decade a total fire ban has been imposed on Wellington, following weeks of hot weather and tinder dry conditions.
The ban on outdoor fires, with the exception of gas barbecues, will begin from 8am tomorrow in the region.
Greater Wellington Rural Fire Co-ordinating Committee chairwoman Rachael Thorp said fire-risk conditions had now elevated to an "extreme" point where local councils and the Department Of Conservation have had to impose the ban.
The ban covers all territory in Wellington City, Hutt City, Upper Hutt City, Porirua City and the Kapiti Coast District. It includes all land administered by DoC.
"We are asking that people do not light fires and in addition avoid hot outdoor work such as grinding and welding, and use of motorised equipment such as mowers, chainsaws and scrub bars during the afternoon when the temperatures are at their peak," Ms Thorp said.
People who breached the ban would be liable on conviction to six months' imprisonment and a $2000 fine.
All fire permits previously issued were suspended until further notice.
The prohibited fire season will remain in place until there is a decent period of rainfall and the fire danger passes.