Total fire ban in place

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 11:08 31/01/2013

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A total fire ban was introduced for the Marlborough region yesterday as temperatures are set to rise in February. This means no fires can be lit in the open air, including non-gas barbecues.

Marlborough principal rural fire officer Richard McNamara said people in Marlborough had been doing the right thing.

While many lifestyle block owners and farmers burnt off rubbish, they knew the hottest time of the year was not the time to do it, he said. "Farmers aren't burning at this time because they know the risk to their property."

The fires in Christchurch last week were an example of how fire could get out of control. "We can't afford that, it puts people at risk so just don't burn yet," Mr McNamara said.

"Wait a while and burn it in autumn or winter."

Marlborough did not have a total fire ban last year due to excessive rain and flooding, but this year was back to typical Marlborough weather, he said.

"When you're living in Marlborough, you're living in a fire-prone environment," he said. "It only takes one accident or mistake and off we go."

The fire ban applies to the Marlborough District Council area south of the Wairau River, including the area south of the Diversion and the area around and including Rarangi.

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- The Marlborough Express

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