Hawke’s Bay - check it’s alright.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Hawke’s Bay - check it’s alright.

Hawke’s Bay Fire and Emergency is urging people to think about fire safety as we approach warmer weather.

Fire and Emergency’s Hawkes’ Bay Community Risk Manager, Nigel Hall, says everyone should be now checking if it is safe to light an outdoor fire, or carry out spark creating activities like mowing lawns.

He says, "First check www.checkitsalright.nz which will tell you if you should or shouldn’t light an outdoor fire.

"Then check the weather conditions. Check the four-day wind forecast by heading to www.fireweather.niwa.nz and clicking on your area in the map. If it is going to be windy, don’t light a fire.

"If you decide it is safe to go ahead and light an outdoor fire, don’t leave it unsupervised, " Nigel Hall says.

"In November, we had eighteen vegetation-related fires across Hawkes’ Bay, largely as a result of unsupervised fires.

"Don’t leave your fire to burn unsupervised. Keep water nearby in case it gets out of control and make sure it is fully extinguished. Dig over the remains and pour water over them until you are sure it is out."

For advice about fire placements and burn plans, go to Fire for land management

Remember - if you’re not ready, the risk is always extreme.

Nigel Hall says this is particularly important for properties next to forest, scrubland or in a rural setting.

"If a fire gets out of control in these areas the chance of it spreading quickly is much greater because of the increased quantities of drier vegetation," he says.

"People living or working in these high-risk areas have a responsibility to act safely around fire, and to take steps to make their properties firesafe.

"They should be keeping the grass around their houses short and gutters and areas around decks clear of dead leaves and debris."