Full fire ban remains for Wairarapa

By Emily Norman -
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The restricted fire season status has been lifted in the Tararua District following high rainfall and autumn weather conditions, but a total fire ban remains in place across the Wairarapa Rural Fire District, covering Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa.

Wairarapa principal rural fire officer Phill Wishnowsky said officers were monitoring the region's fire risk "almost on a minute-by-minute basis" but rainfall had been "too patchy" to lift the fire ban in Wairarapa.

"We've had a little bit of rain recently ... Some areas have had a good amount of rain, others have had very little rain, so we would expect that the effect of that on the fire danger and risk will also be a little bit patchy."

Mr Wishnowsky said the underlying fire risk was still "very high" in Wairarapa and there was a large amount of dry dead vegetation which the rain "obviously hasn't brought back to life".

"We would still appreciate a bit more rain, particularly in some parts of Wairarapa, but as soon as we're comfortable that the risk has reduced, we'll be lifting the bans as quick as we can," he said.

In the Tararua District, a restricted fire season status remains on all Department of Conservation land, and all reserves and beaches, which continues all-year round; a permit is required to light a fire in these areas.

Tararua District principal rural fire officer Paddy Driver said people intending to burn should be aware there was still a moderate fire danger level because of long roadside grass.

They should take extra care and not burn fires in high winds.

He said he was thankful to people who obtained permits and acted responsibly during the season.

"One-hundred-and-forty-two permits were issued for the season without incident, which is a great result for the district," he said.

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