Extreme fire risk across much of the Wanganui region has prompted the Wanganui District Council to declare a total fire ban on the coastal strip to cover this weekend's fishing competition on South Beach.
Max Benseman, WDC emergency manager, said fire indices were all at the extreme level. "With large numbers of fisher folk camping on the beach over the weekend, it's prudent to restrict any fires," Mr Benseman said. He said the ban would run from midnight this Friday to midnight Monday from the Whanganui River mouth to the Whangaehu River mouth and inland for 1km.
He said the total ban did not mean those taking part in the competition could not use a legitimate barbecue.
"As long as it's either gas, liquid or a solid fuel barbecue, they can use it to prepare their meals. But they must have adequate water at hand and the barbecue must be supervised throughout its use."