Clouds prompt fire calls

Dust cloud: A tractor spreads fertiliser on farmland on the Wither Hills yesterday morning.
Dust cloud: A tractor spreads fertiliser on farmland on the Wither Hills yesterday morning.

Rain this week has not been enough to dampen the fire risk and a total fire ban remains in place in Marlborough.

Principal rural fire officer Richard McNamara said the total ban was in effect for all areas south of the Wairau River.

"Yes, we got some rain, but it was scattered and only rained between 5 millimetres and 12mm at most."

He said the wind would have dried the grass out in less than a day.

Farmers spreading fertiliser on land near the Wither Hills had prompted some false alarms.

"There have been calls to the fire brigade that turned out to be farmers fertilising instead of actual fires. [But] we'd rather have the public call us and be wrong than miss a fire, especially with how dry the Wither Hills are at the moment," Mr McNamara said.

Wither Hills a no go zone

 

The Marlborough Express