Cantabrians urged to take care with outdoor fires in Level 2

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Cantabrians urged to take care with outdoor fires in Level 2

With the Canterbury District returning to Covid Alert Level 2 tomorrow, Fire and Emergency NZ is asking people to take care with outdoor fires.

Christchurch Area Commander Dave Stackhouse says farmers and lifestyle block owners will be able to resume burning controlled outdoor fires in Level 2 where these are allowed under local authority rules, but he is asking everyone to do this safely and consider others when they light up.

"Fire is a normal, well established land management tool used at this time of the year so people should expect to see fires, particularly in rural areas near the outskirts of towns. We are always willing to provide advice on how this can be done safely, and we thank the community for their patience and assistance during this time," Mr Stackhouse says.

In Canterbury, open-air fires are not allowed in residential areas or on any properties smaller than two hectares, all year round.

Here is the checklist for anyone carrying out a controlled burn.

-Check the weather forecast and do not light in strong winds, or if strong winds are predicted in the next 24 hours

-Make sure your burn heaps are small, manageable, well away from shelter-belts, hedges and buildings, and are safe.

-Only burn dry vegetation and non-treated timber

-Have a water supply available to extinguish your fire.

-Please contact the Fire and Emergency NZ Southern Communications centre on 03 341 2066 prior to lighting so your managed burn can be logged. This will prevent unnecessary call-outs if concerned members of the public see smoke and call 111.

-Please be considerate of your neighbours and do not cause a smoke hazard.