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Kiwi, Tūi and Pīwakawaka chosen as ambassadors for wildfire prevention campaign

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Kiwi, Tūi and Pīwakawaka chosen as ambassadors for wildfire prevention campaign

A new summer wildfire prevention campaign featuring three of New Zealand’s most beloved native birds begins today.

‘Fire does not just present a danger to people and property, but also to the unique native birds that are part of our national identity,’ said Kerry Gregory, Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery, Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

All are threatened by fire, either directly or indirectly through the destruction of their habitat. So too are many other species. Fire is one of the most significant risks to threatened species such as kiwi and tui because it destroys habitat as well as life.

‘Fire and Emergency worked closely with the Department of Conservation to select the kiwi, tūi and and pīwakawaka (fantail) as the ambassadors for our wildfire prevention campaign’.

‘No one wants their property destroyed or their life disrupted by fire, but many of us still don’t understand the risks associated with some common activities,’ Kerry Gregory said.

‘In extreme conditions it only takes a spark to start a devastating wildfire. That spark can come from a cooking fire, a piece of equipment such as a lawnmower, a charcoal barbeque or a burn-off.’

In New Zealand 65 per cent of wildfires are caused by controlled burns and cooking and camping fires getting out of control. It is vital that people know the Fire Season Status of the area they are in before doing any work outdoors that could generate a spark, and before lighting any kind of fire. People can learn how to reduce the risk and check whether they need a Fire Permit at www.checkitsalright.nz.