Total fire ban in South Taranaki

Last updated 05:00 31/01/2013
ROD Fire

Relevant offers

Tinder-dry conditions have South Taranaki's firefighters and farmers searching the skies for rain.

A total fire ban is in place for the bulk of the district including incinerators, wood or coal barbecues and hangi.

The ban covers Hawera, Eltham, Rahotu, Opunake and everywhere in between.

Only gas-fired barbecues are allowed.

Principal rural fire officer John Gunn said residents needed to be aware that if they light a fire the full costs of fighting it would be charged to the property owner.

"The whole district is very, very dry," he said.

"Fighting fires puts a major drain on the district's water supplies, which are already under severe stress. We don't need to be using water to put out fires if we can avoid it."

MetService forecaster Richard Finnie said next few days should be dry but there should be a "spot of rain" by Monday.

However, they expected another high to cross the district soon after that, he said.

Kaponga farmer and volunteer chief firefighter Jason Hurley said he was preparing for the worst.

"It is starting to become a bit of a concern," he said.

"What's in front [of the cattle] at the moment is just wilting away but it's still green."

Mr Hurley said he was now sourcing feed from outside of the district because if they didn't get rain soon his farm would be "bone dry". "And the last thing we need right now is to be out there fighting fires."

Hawera farmer and mayor Ross Dunlop said as long as the rural community was prepared they should get through.

"While we don't want these dry spells, this one has actually started quite late," he said.

"So if we can just get through the next six weeks it's probably not going to be that detrimental. Most farmers are ready to cope with this."

All current fire permits are suspended and restrictions remain in place until further notice.

Ad Feedback

- Taranaki Daily News

Special offers
Opinion poll

What's your expectation of former tropical cyclone Pam?

To hit East Cape and Hawke's Bay with substantial punch

Heavy rain and wind, but no more

A mild storm at most

A fizzer

Vote Result

Related story: Cyclone Pam hits New Zealand

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Follow the Taranaki Daily News on Twitter

Get Taranaki's frequent news and sport updates

TDN North Taranaki Midweek

The North Taranaki Midweek's online

Get your mid week news fix

TDN South Taranaki Star

South Taranaki Star online

Get your South Taranaki news online