Total fire ban in place
Rural fire officials are reminding members of the public not to light any fires this Easter. The total fire ban remains in place and the fire risk is extreme.
"People may think of Easter as time for an end of season tidy-up bonfire or time to have a final barbecue, but not this year," says Whangarei's principal rural fire officer Kevin Ihaka.
"The fire risk in our District is extreme; it is the worst in living memory. We have had months of dry weather, the worst drought on eastern side of Northland since 1946, and even a day or two of rain at this point will not reduce the fire risk. Dead and dry vegetation is ready to go up the moment someone does something stupid and illegal.
"We have also had very unpredictable gusty winds for the past couple of weeks and it all adds to the danger," he says.
"I cannot see the fire ban being lifted any time soon, so I want people to make sure they don't light fires."
Mr Ihaka reminds the public that the fire ban meant gas barbecues only, no rubbish fires, no fire pits, no beach bonfires, no camp fires, fireworks and no hangis.