Cantabrians told not to light any fires due to high winds

Photo: File / Getty Images
Photo: File / Getty Images
Fire and Emergency NZ want anyone planning a burn to hold off until the region sees more settled weather.

Forecasters are expecting heavy winds to hit Canterbury overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday.

Area Commander Dave Stackhouse doesn’t want to see a repeat of what occurred last week when two significant fires were fuelled by strong northwesterly winds.

"We had two large fires, which required a significant effort to bring under control," Stackhouse says.

"We couldn’t put helicopters up because of the strong winds and that hampered our attempts to put the fires out.

"If the expected wind gusts occur over the next couple of days, and we have a fire, we will again be unable to bring in aircraft to assist with our firefighting effort."

Fenz is also requesting anyone that has burnt over the past few weeks to go back and check their burn areas and ensure their fire is not still smouldering.

If they discover it is, they should put it out with water, or ring 111 for assistance.

Stackhouse is also encouraging Cantabrians to think twice about using braziers, gas cookers or carrying out farming activities that could cause an ignition while the winds are up and the fire danger is high.

"These can be high-risk activities and with hot days and strong winds forecast, it just isn’t worth the risk," Stackhouse says.

Fenz is expecting a second wind event to occur later in the week as well, with the weekend also likely to bring high winds.

If anyone sees smoke or fire they should ring 111 immediately.






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