Newly qualified firefighters Sateke Tuanaki and Owen Cleary return from training to take up full duties with their peers

Prohibited Fire Season

by Andy Bryenton

With the threat of fire in the public perception due to Australia’s ongoing natural disaster, local firefighters are urging caution and mindfulness when it comes to fires here in New Zealand.

A check with Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s informational website confirms that the region is now in an official ‘prohibited’ season.

There is a total fire ban on lighting any open-air fire. Residents may apply for a permit, but the criteria for it being granted are very strict when the danger is high. For example, a fire permit will only be granted if Fire and Emergency consider that the fire is necessary to prevent, reduce or overcome any hazard to life, or because of another serious emergency. A temporary permit may be granted if the weather changes dramatically enough to reduce the risk. Weather or other conditions have temporarily reduced the fire risk, so it is apparently safe to light a fire.

There are reasons to celebrate, however, for Dargaville’s volunteer brigade.

Two of those reasons come in the form of young firefighters Owen Cleary and Sateke Tuanaki, who return from December training at Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s Mount Wellington-based facility as fully qualified firefighters. Another is in the successful roll-out of Dargaville’s new fire appliance, a fully kitted out IVECO Eurocargo truck.