Firefighters in Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa are on high alert as
the regions brace for forecast strong winds and hot
The fire risk in the Hawkes Bay has been raised to extreme
and hot dry winds as well as temperatures reaching more than
30C are expected.
Fire crews in the areas were prepared should the situation
escalate, said Hastings District Council principal rural fire
officer Trevor Mitchell.
"When the high temperatures are combined with strong winds
there is the potential for the fire risk to increase rapidly.
"It's fairly serious for the next two days particularly with
similar sort of conditions to what they are getting in
Australia with hot dry wind. We're fortunate that we don't
have the big landscapes that they've got but we've still got
the same potential for fires to break out,' he told Radio New
Mr Mitchell urged people to take precautions and avoid doing
anything that could start a fire, such as welding.
Lawns should be mowed in the early morning or later in the
evening, as mowing in the heat of the day increased the risk
of sparks which could ignite the very dry undergrowth, he
A total fire ban for Hawkes Bay has been in place since
mid-December, which means no outdoor fires may be lit.
Most people had been behaving responsibly and reporting fires
since the ban was put in place, said Mr Mitchell.