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Dry, hot summer approaching

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It is likely that Canterbury will have a dry, hot summer.

As in previous years, we are encouraging property owners to cut or graze long grass – on cooler days – before it starts to dry off to avoid it becoming a fire hazard.

It’s important to know that while grass may look green, it can still burn in the right conditions. If you have long grass on your property, now is a good time to either graze it or mow it on a cooler day to reduce the risk of fire affecting your property.

Council does not maintain roadsides except at intersections to keep sight distance for drivers and outside Council-owned properties eg reserves, cemeteries, quarries. Mowing of intersections is under way as part of the road maintenance contract.

The Council is responsible for complaints relating to vegetation on properties causing a fire risk. People can contact Selwyn District Council to make a complaint.

On 1 July 2017 Selwyn District Council Rural Fire Authority merged with the New Zealand Fire Service and other rural fire organisations to form Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ). FENZ is now responsible for all aspects of rural fire, including permitting.

To get a fire permit visit:

For further information about outdoor fires and use of barbecues visit:

Check old fires – wet them down!

Do not dig them over as this could reignite the fire.

The safest way to check the old burn in today’s conditions is to insert a crowbar or other metal pole into the burn and check to see how hot it is when you pull it out.  If it is very hot, then it could still be burning.

These fires need to be well wet down. If practical, dig over your old burn during the cooler, rainy days which are forecast for later in the week.

Remember, it may be your responsibility for any fires that break out from your property and cause damage to neighbouring properties.

Last Changed: 12 Dec 2017

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