Despite the abundance of rain over the past few weeks the Restricted Fire Season will not be lifted just yet.
The Restricted Fire Season means anyone wanting to light a fire in the open air must have a permit.
Principal Rural Fire Officer, Myles Taylor, says that despite the low fire danger rating they are reluctant to lift the restriction, as there is still eight weeks of the fire season to go.
“The potential for things to dry out in some areas still exists. We monitor the fire danger rating every day and at the moment it is low due to all the rain we have had, which has been great for my volunteers as they haven’t had many callouts.”
Mr Taylor says the main message is that they are monitoring the risk very closely.
“We realise it’s a low fire risk at the moment, but things in Northland can change very quickly so we are cautious about lifting the restrictions at the moment. We are only in February and we want to make sure we don’t get caught out. It is very difficult to put another ban back in place if we lift it and things dry out.
“I have instructed my permit officers to be relatively relaxed with permit conditions and since permits are free the restricted season shouldn’t cause to much inconvenience for most people, but it still provides us the opportunity to maintain some control.
Our biggest concern is high winds, which often precede a rain event. It can dry out areas quickly, especially grass, and cause fires to escape.”
Mr Taylor says they will lift the restrictions as soon as possible, but for the moment it is still a Restricted Fire Season.
Updates are posted on checkitsalright.nz and permit applications are available at havingafire.org.nz.