Caution needed as heat rises

By Heather McCracken


If you thought it was a hot Christmas in South Wairarapa, you weren't wrong - figures out from NIWA for December show Martinborough and Ngawi both had record-breaking highs on December 25.

With temperatures topping 30C it was a sweltering day, just perfect for a run under the sprinkler after Christmas lunch.

Also in the climate records last month was Castlepoint, recording its highest wind gust on December 2, a teeth-rattling 172km/h.

I've been hankering for a long hot summer this year, but looking across the Tasman to the devastating bush fires and heat wave, I should perhaps be careful what I wish for.

Yesterday reports were that more than 20 bush fires were burning and temperatures were expected to reach 43C in Sydney - the third highest on record - and in the far west of the state the mercury was heading for a very unpleasant 45C.

Here in Wairarapa, we're at high fire risk, and have had small scrub fires caused by unwise burnoffs, but nothing like what fire crews are battling in New South Wales.

We can be thankful we won't face those kind of temperatures or the scale of the fires, it still does highlight why there are fire restrictions in place here.

If that hot, windy weather continues, it'll be just the right sort of conditions for a scrub fire - so be extra cautious.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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