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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:19am

A pile of dead branches sits in the middle of a dry field

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has moved Selwyn to open fire season as of Monday 4 May.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Bruce Janes says while the fire seasons are changing, Fire and Emergency NZ is asking people to think twice before lighting an open-air fire.

“While we know essential industries like farmers will still need to light fires as part of their land management, we would appreciate if people would hold off lighting non-essential fires for a couple more weeks while we remain under COVID-19 Alert Level 3. Now is the time to be more vigilant than ever to avoid an upturn in the spread of the virus.”

Bruce Janes says even if a fire is permitted and under control, the smoke often generates a 111 call from the public, meaning firefighters need to leave their bubble to deal with an avoidable fire.

“We know that weather conditions have been good and that burning is an easy way to dispose of waste, but we would prefer Cantabrians hold off a few more weeks or take it to the Council refuse station.”

For the latest fire season status and information see the FENZ website.