Wellington is heading into the high fire-risk season after two months of high temperatures and low rainfall.
Wellington City Council's Principal Rural Fire Officer Jock Darragh has suggested ways to keep yourself and your neighbourhood safe: Be sensible when using/lighting any fire.
Clear thick vegetation from around your home to create a gap of at least 10 metres. Don't stack firewood against your house or under your porch. Clear your gutters of dead leaves.
Make sure you have a hose that reaches all parts of your house/section. If your neighbour's section is overgrown, and you are concerned, offer to help clear their vegetation if they can't. Have an evacuation plan so you can get your family safely out of your house.
Check your gas cylinders and hoses for leaks before lighting your barbecue. If you see smoke at any time, dial 111 and ask for the Fire Service.
Lighting fires in the open is restricted all year round. The exception to this rule is charcoal and gas barbecues.
If you want to light a fire in the open you must get a permit first.
Also, because of the danger of fires spreading, lighting fires on beaches is banned except at Houghton and Princess bays, but you still need a permit.
If you are lighting a fire, make sure you have something on hand capable of dousing it - a fire extinguisher, water bucket or fire blanket.
- The Wellingtonian