Fire and Emergency says be firewise in Otago this weekend

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Fire and Emergency says be firewise in Otago this weekend

Fire and Emergency is expecting seasonal winds across Otago this weekend to increase the fire danger to very high.

"We recommend people hold off lighting fires unless there is little or no wind forecast," says Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer Jason Sarich.

"A seasonal front is expected to come through Central Otago, from Friday through to Saturday. The front is expected to bring strong north-westerlies. Very strong winds are also forecast for Coastal Otago on Saturday. It is likely to push the fire danger around Central Otago up to very high.

"A fire danger of that level means it is extremely difficult to suppress any fires that start, when the weather event is blowing through the area," Mr Sarich says.

"Central Otago is currently in a restricted fire season, meaning a permit is required to light an open-air fire, but everyone needs to reflect on whether they should be considering carrying out potential spark generating activities this weekend."

Mr Sarich says with the evenings now getting longer and warmer those around Otago are likely to be out doing leisure activities such at BBQing and home handy work such as lawn mowing.

"It only takes a spark to start a potentially dangerous fire, so we want everyone to be extra careful.

"Even exhaust fumes on dry grass has the potential to start a fire.

"We are also asking anyone with left over fireworks to keep them packed away if the winds get up.

"Everyone has a responsibility to help us avoid dangerous wildfires."

For more information on fire conditions in your area head to www.checkitsalright.nz