Cavalcade organisers wary of fire risk

Terry Davis
Terry Davis
Organisers are working hard to minimise fire risk at this year's Otago Goldfields Trust Cavalcade.

Cavalcade co-ordinator Terry Davis said a fire safety plan would be released this week and organisers were covering every eventuality.

''We haven't started a fire in 26 cavalcades and we don't want this to be the first.''

Much of Otago, including most of Central Otago and the Lake Hawea district, where the cavalcade will end, has a restricted fire season and is classified as having a ''high danger'' fire risk.

A restricted fire season means a permit is required to light a fire outside.

Mr Davis said the fire risk for this year's cavalcade was ''probably the worst'' organisers had faced.

A fire safety plan was prepared for every cavalcade, but this year's would be ''ramped up'' and have various additional safety measures.

Crew vehicles would carry extra fire extinguishers and wranglers would carry them in their saddlebags.

Crew vehicles would also be provided with a ''spark arrester'' (a steel mesh screen that goes over a vehicle exhaust pipe and stops sparks coming out of the exhaust), and additional backup vehicles were encouraged to buy spark arresters.

Organisers are also asking people to bring alcohol in tins rather than glass bottles, because of the fire risk glass sitting outside can create, and are considering banning glass bottles all together.

There will also be a strict ''no smoking'' policy.

''This is the cavalcade to give up smoking,'' Mr Davis said.

About 600 people would take part in this year's cavalcade, which would be the biggest since 1998, he said.


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