Stay away from hidden hazards on the Awarua fireground

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Stay away from hidden hazards on the Awarua fireground

Duck shooters who are planning to work on their maimais around Awarua Bay and Waituna Lagoon over ANZAC weekend are again reminded to stay out of the area burnt by this month’s fire.

This is because there are hidden dangers from active fires still burning underground.

Fire and Emergency District Manager Julian Tohiariki says many hunters will expect to use the long weekend to prepare their maimais, set out decoys and tidy up their favourite shooting spots. Other members of the public may also want to visit the area, and they are all reminded to stay out of burnt areas.

“The biggest risk is that someone could stumble into an ashpit or a smouldering peat bed and suffer serious burns. The recent rain has helped reduce the risk but we expect it will be a few more weeks before the fires burn out,” Mr Tohiariki says.

“I know it will be frustrating for people to hear that there are still restrictions on access, particularly if they can’t see flames or smoke.”

Fire and Emergency is still monitoring the area and although there are patches of vegetation that look to be untouched by the fire, the peat has been burning below the ground.

The map shows the fireground exclusion areas in red, and the largest of the ashpits within the burnt out area. There are other hotspots throughout the exclusion zone.

Awarua Bay Prohibited Area Map