‘Check it’ advice after bonfire

While Southland is in open fire season, anyone wishing to light a fire can head to www...
While Southland is in open fire season, anyone wishing to light a fire can head to www.checkitsalright.nz. to find out if they should go ahead. IMAGE: FIRE AND EMERGENCY NEW ZEALAND
Invercargill firefighters rushed to a suspected building fire on Thursday night, only to discover a garden bonfire.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand [Fenz] spokesman said two crews and one tanker had headed to the Otatara property about 7pm.

"When they arrived they found one bonfire. And so they extinguished it."

He said what people could do was to head to www.checkitsalright.nz.

"That is up-to-date with fire restrictions. If they need a permit to have a burn, they can certainly then apply on the same site."

While Southland is in open fire season, the website allows users to check if they can light a fire or if they should hold off.

It also links to a fire notification tool for informing Fenz of planned large fires.

"Maybe not so much in Invercargill but certainly in Otago, people are still on tenterhooks because it has been quite a dry season," he said.

Over Easter, all fire permits in Otago had been suspended due to strong wind and dry temperatures.

The site is interactive and users can also submit their fire-based plans, where they are and when they plan to do it to find information on if they should go ahead.

Local and regional councils also have bylaws and rules around smoke and air pollution, no matter the fire season.

laura.smith@odt.co.nz

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