Total fire ban continues

The total fire ban in the Tauranga Moana Rural Fire District remains in place despite rain overnight.

A total ban was put in place last week for the Western Bay of Plenty, rural areas of Tauranga, Department of Conservation lands in the Western Bay and Mayor and Motiti Islands due to increasingly dry conditions.

Principal rural fire officer Barry Low says despite the rain overnight and today the grounds are still not wet enough to remove the ban.

“We haven't had enough rain yet.

“We are looking to getting a little more today and possibly tonight, but then we are back to hot and dry tomorrow, looking at the forecasts - and wind which is going to dry things out a little bit quicker.

“We can get rain today and overnight and lift the ban, then we have to put it on again two days later. There's no sense in that. We are better to hold it off until we see just what is going to happen.”

Permits are not being issued for the rural fire district.

Barry says people lighting fires will be held responsible for the consequences, for the costs of any damage caused by the fire, and for the costs of controlling and extinguishing it.

DOC conservation lands include the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park, which is also under a total fire ban imposed on January 29. Gas cookers and gas barbecues can be used in the parks but no one should light a camp fire.

Anyone seeing smoke in the rural areas should immediately call 111.


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