6 Jan 2015

Emergency crews on standby

6:07 pm on 6 January 2015

Rural fire officers in Central Otago and Hauraki are on high alert and parts of the East Coast may upgrade their fire danger as the warm weather brings tinder dry conditions.

Fire Danger graphic

Fire Danger graphic Photo: Supplied

National Rural Fire Officer Kevin O'Connor said most rural fire districts are now on a restricted fire season, requiring a permit to light an open fire.

Open fires have been prohibited in both regions since before Christmas.

Mr O'Connor said rural fire officers on the east coast of both islands were regularly assessing whether to upgrade their areas from a restricted to a prohibited fire season.

He said people should check if they required a permit.

Mr O'Connor said there were a range of reasons people would need a fire permit including a community wanting to light a bonfire, a forestry company wanting to burn off land for land preparation, or a farmer wanting to burn some stubble.

He said even those who did not require a permit should be mindful of wind changes and pay attention when using machinery, such as mowers.

Mr O'Connor said people also needed to take care when refuelling vehicles and do so on a concrete pad or on shingle, rather than in a paddock.