Tararua district is now in a prohibited fire season.

The change in fire season was effective from Monday and follows the Wairarapa district going into a prohibited fire season last week.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Nick Pyatt says all fire permits in the Tararua and Wairarapa are suspended during the total fire ban.

"A prohibited fire season means the fire danger is too high and no fires are permitted."


He said only gas and charcoal barbecues can be used while a prohibited fire season is in place.

"It's extremely dry here, making for extreme fire conditions. In these conditions it can only take a spark to start a fire. That spark can come from equipment such as a lawnmower, grinder, welding or even a plough."

Pyatt said it was vitally important that people understood the risks and took precautions.

"If you're using any machinery that could spark, please use it in the morning or evening during the cooler parts of the day," said Pyatt.

It was also important that people are prepared and make sure their property was fire safe.

"Making sure your roofs and gutters are clear of dead leaves, debris and pine needles will help protect your home as these can create fuel for a fire. Move anything that could burn (such as mulch, leaves, firewood piles) away from exterior walls, decks or porches."

Dannevirke fire chief Pete Sinclair said the fire ban affected all of Tararua even though the southern part wasn't as dry.

"It's greener down south, but it's too hard to hard to put in a partial ban."


Sinclair said there hadn't been any vegetation fires around Dannevirke, but there had been two or three out at Pongaroa.

"It's very dry out there and out toward the coast."

However, the Dannevirke brigade has been kept extremely busy over the past couple of months.

There were two call-outs on Tuesday evening.

The first was to a truck fire at Dannevirke BP at 4.55pm.

Sinclair said he wasn't sure what caused the fire but thought it could have been a fuel leak or an electrical short.

The second call-out was in response to smoke being seen on Wi Duncan Rd, just south of Dannevirke.

However, no smoke was discovered.

On Saturday, the brigade was called out to Waitahora after a report of smoke being scene.

But Sinclair the smoke had drifted into the area from the Santoft forest fire.

"We could see the smoke was from Santoft as we couldn't see the ranges," Sinclair said.

Later that day the Dannevirke tanker was taken out to Pongaroa to a vegetation fire, where the crew spent several hours.

That same day the brigade was called to Maharahara Rd where an oven had been left on and there was nobody home.

The Dannevirke brigade returned to town as Woodville brigade attended.

A total hosing ban is in force throughout Tararua and this meant garden sprinklers, unattended water systems, soak hoses and hand-held hoses cannot be used.

The ban also means no cleaning cars, washing houses or windows and no refilling of swimming pools. The use of buckets is permitted.

For more information on how to reduce the risk of fire, go to www.checkitsalright.nz.