The hot summer temperatures might be dropping but fire restrictions remain in place for both Napier and Hastings.

However, a suspicious fire on a river bank in Haumoana on Saturday afternoon suggests some people are still not heeding the message.

The Fire Service was called to the blaze at the northern end of Grange Rd at 4.12pm.

It took firefighters about three-quarters of an hour to douse the 50m by 50m fire.


A Grange Rd resident who lives just down from the Tukituki River said she heard the fire alarm sound about 4pm, but didn't think much of it because it went off often and the area was usually peaceful and quiet.

Also on Saturday afternoon, the Fire Service was called to an unpermitted burn-off involving building materials in Karamu.

It took a little more than half an hour to extinguish the fire.

Hastings District Council states there is a total fire ban between September 1 and May 1 each year in urban areas for both Napier and Hastings. Outdoor cooking is an exception, however, with the likes of a pizza oven permitted, as long as council rules are enforced.

A restricted fire season is in place for rural areas which means people must have a permit before lighting up.

It is illegal to have an open fire in any urban areas and public places including beaches, parks, reserves and forests.

MetService meteorologist Peter Little said Napier, Hastings and Central Hawke's Bay areas were still drier than normal while northern Hawke's Bay, places like Wairoa, had already had some decent rain.

"Farmers would still be wanting a bit more rain and it looks as though they will be getting their wish granted later in the week," he said.

Yesterday reached the mid-20s and the mercury is not expected to drop much until Thursday.

Napier will peak at 25C today with an overnight temperature of 16C, Hastings will hit the same mark during the day and both places will have a north-easterly wind flow. But Hastings residents are in for a slightly cooler night than Napier with 14C forecast.