Total fire ban across Northland from tonight

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A number of suspicious or carelessly-lit fires, like this one at Pipiwai on Saturday has sparked a total fire ban across Northland.
A number of suspicious or carelessly-lit fires, like this one at Pipiwai on Saturday has sparked a total fire ban across Northland.

A total fire ban should come into place in both Whangarei and Kaipara districts at midnight tonight.

It will mean lighting any fire is illegal throughout Northland, as a total ban is already in place in the Far North.

Until midnight tonight, Whangarei and Kaipara have allowed fires by permit only - although with a spate of grass and scrub fires and dry, windy conditions no permits have been issued in recent days.

Whangarei/Kaipara principal rural fire officer Kevin Ihaka said firefighters are frustrated over the outbreak of fires resulting from either carelessness or arson.

Ihaka, who called for the total ban, said he expected it to be in place by midnight tonight.

Fire crews and resources such as machinery have been stretched as the Fire Service and rural fire crews combated several fires at a time, he said.

Department of Conservation (DoC) has joined with fire authorities and the police in calling for help from the public regarding the lighting of unlawful and suspicious fires.

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