Restricted fire season for all of Southland

There is now a restricted fire season in Southland because of fears the large amount of dry spring grass could easily lead to a fire.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Southland district manager Julian Tohiariki said a permit was required to light a fire outdoors

The restriction covers all of Southland.

"A wet spring-early summer means there is plenty of available fuel for fire around Southland.

"Recent cooler conditions have eased fire dangers, but fuels remain dry and a fire could easily start and spread."

Mr Tohiariki also said there was a ban on using solid fuel and charcoal barbecues at Sandy Point from the Dunns Rd Bridge over the Oreti River including Sandy Point Reserve, Fosbender Park and private land through to Foveaux St.

Gas barbecues were permitted as they posed a lower fire risk, but people should take extra precautions when using anything which could cause a spark.

"This includes recreational vehicles such as motorbikes.

"Even if you have a permit, we expect anyone planning on lighting a fire to check the conditions. If it’s hot and windy, please hold off lighting a fire."

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