After a spate of fires, a total fire ban has been declared across the East Coast, due to "exceptionally dry conditions".

Covering the area from Central Hawke's Bay to the top of the East Cape, from 8am Saturday no person can light a fire in the open air under any circumstance, unless authorised by the principal rural fire officer.

Authorised by principal rural fire officers, or council staff from across the East Coast, this ban includes all fires in the open air, incinerators, traditional cooking fires (such as hangi, umu, brie), solid fuel barbecues, brazier, pizza ovens, chiminea, camp fires and fireworks.

Gas barbecues and other gas fuelled cooking apparatus are permitted, but extra care should be taken with their use.


All fire permits previously issued are hereby suspended.

The Prohibition has been declared due to the current exceptionally dry conditions and shall continue in force until revoked by a further notice.

Yesterday's high of 33C recorded at Hawke's Bay Airport continued the trend of hot, and dry days.

These high temperatures, coupled with strong winds, and little rain over the past few weeks has coincided with a number of fires in the region.

Fire services spent Tuesday evening putting out a scrub fire in Meanee, and the day before a Maraekakaho home had been flattened by raging fire.

Residents of the small Mahanga community near Mahia spent Sunday afternoon fighting a blaze which scoured the area, gutting an unoccupied house.

Earlier that week a fire destroyed a shed full of hay near Clive, services fought a large scrub fire in Gisborne, and a fire ripped through 9ha of olive trees and grazing land alongside Tukituki Rd near Havelock North.

MetService meteorologist Tuporo Marsters said today would be hot and sunny with high cloud increasing.

Northwesterly winds between 31km/h and 39km/h were expected, bringing a high of 32C to Napier and Hastings.

- For all fire emergencies phone 111 and quote your name and address or RAPID number in rural areas.

- For further information on rural fire prevention matters please visit or contact your local Council Rural Fire Officer.