A total fire ban has been put in place along the coastal strip of Mount Maunganui and Papamoa from 12pm today, Friday 22 December, until further notice.
This applies to all land on the seaward side of Marine Parade, Ocean Beach Road, Maranui Street, and Papamoa Beach Road.
The New Zealand Fire Service and Tauranga City Council made the decision as a result of recent dry weather. The Mount Maunganui/Papamoa area has considerable vegetation, including grass and scrub along the dunes, which could act as fuel.
“It was necessary to take this step due to the early arrival of hot, dry weather this summer," says Tauranga City Council's Parks and Environment Team Leader, Warren Aitken.
"The rain earlier this week wasn't enough to mitigate the risk of wildfire. This ban affects only the coastal strip, but regardless of where you reside in Tauranga, please take extreme care with fire.”
The ban does not prohibit residents from using barbeques or traditional cooking fires provided the fire does not pose a danger, a water supply is present to extinguish the fire, and it is supervised at all times. For more details see section three of the Outdoor Fire Safety Bylaw 2015.
Signage will be put in place at popular beach entrances along the coast.
If dry conditions continue, a fire ban may be imposed on all of Tauranga City's urban areas.