Think twice before lighting fires and check old burn-off sites – that's the warning from firefighters as Hawke's Bay braces for more windy conditions over coming days.
Two fire engines were called to a small vegetation fire on Harvey Rd, in the Napier suburb of Bluff Hill, at 11.53pm yesterday as winds hit 76km/h.
It was the only callout during the breezy conditions across the region on Monday and Tuesday, and was quickly extinguished, but Hawke's Bay principal rural fire officer Trevor Mitchell says caution is needed in coming days.
More winds are expected over the weekend.
Hastings District Council, Central Hawke's Bay District Council and Napier City Council said they were not aware of any significant wind-related callouts across the districts overnight on Tuesday.
Mitchell pleaded with Hawke's Bay residents not to light fires when strong winds are forecast.
"The winds can cause a fire to more easily spread and get out of control.
"Anyone who has lit a fire should also double check it is fully extinguished so the winds don't reignite it.
"Dig right down into the site, open it up and put some water on it to make sure it is absolutely out."
Mitchell also encouraged Hawke's Bay residents to check historic burn sites are completely out, particularly given the "unusually dry" conditions.
"We've had half the usual rainfall we'd expect over winter in the Hawke's Bay and there's still a lot of dry materials around from last summer - meaning there is more fuel for a fire to burn," he said.
The public are also encouraged to contact the Hawke's Bay Area Office on (06) 835 2114 or go to www.checkitsalright.nz for further advice on how to reduce the risk of fire.
"If you're concerned about a fire, call 111," Mitchell added.