Fire website launched

Southern Rural Fire Authority community co-ordinator Sally Chesterfield with the organisation’s latest advance in technology – an interactive webpage designed to help people access information on fire use.
Southern Rural Fire Authority community co-ordinator Sally Chesterfield with the organisation’s latest advance in technology – an interactive webpage designed to help people access information on fire use.

The Southern Rural Fire Authority has launched an interactive website to help people access information on fire risks and permits and make good choices around fire use.

The authority's community co-ordinator Sally Chesterfield said the site went live this week and is believed to be the first of its kind launched by a rural fire authority in New Zealand.

The site allows people to pinpoint a location on their property and determine which of three fire zones they were in - in turn, showing them the risk of fire and the permits required in their area.

''We really wanted to make fire a bit more accessible and make sure people have got the information at their fingertips if they want it, and people use the web more and more now.''

The service was developed as part of an overhaul of the authority's entire website, and was something it had wanted to make happen for quite some time, she said.

''I guess the driver is that I'm a great believer in 'knowledge is power' ... if you can inform yourself, you can make some wise decisions. It's much easier to make an informed decision if you've got that information, instead of guessing what you should and shouldn't do.''

The development of the three fire zones, which had varying fire risks, also meant fire restrictions could be better managed without impacting on the whole fire district, she said.

The Southland Times