A total fire ban has been declared for Canterbury -- quake-shattered Christchurch included -- for 48 hours starting at midday today.
The forecast is for high winds and low humidity in many areas and rural fire authorities in the Canterbury region are attempting to lower the odds of uncontrolled wildfires starting in the forest and rural areas over the next two days.
National Rural Fire Officer Murray Dudfield said conditions in the region today warranted the fire ban.
He said any fires started in such tinder dry conditions had the potential to get out of control.
``If you notice any suspicious fires call 111.''
A 48-hour fire ban from midday today will exist in the following areas:
* South Canterbury Rural Fire District;
* Ashley Rural Fire District;
* Hurunui District Council;
* Waimakariri District Council;
* Selwyn District Council;
* Ashburton District Council;
* Christchurch City Council; and
* all Department of Conservation areas contained within these areas.
The ban was a timely reminder to the public that in these areas conditions were significantly dry, that any fires that were lit or started in strong wind conditions had the potential to get out of control, Mr Dudfield said.