Fire restrictions on Kapiti Coast

Open air fires can spread to vegetation and then get out of control really quickly. Photo / File
Open air fires can spread to vegetation and then get out of control really quickly. Photo / File

Fire restrictions are now in place in Kapiti, meaning people need a permit if they want to light an open air fire in urban and rural parts of the district.

"Open air fires can spread to vegetation and then get out of control really quickly, so it's vital you apply for a fire permit before you light up outdoors," principal rural fire officer Craig Cottrill said.

"It's easy to apply for a fire permit.

"Go to www.checkitsalright.nz and follow the steps to apply for a fire permit.

"If you don't have access to the website, call us on 0800 658 628 or email us at firepermit.wellington@fireandemergency.nz so we can assist you.

"We can work with you to make sure your fire burns safely, or in some cases we can advise you that it's not safe to burn a fire where you plan to.

"If you don't need to burn, don't burn.

"For example vegetation can be disposed of at your local landfill."

He said people should avoid activities that may start a fire during the hottest part of the day including welding, grinding and even mowing lawns.

The www.checkitsalright.nz website also shows types of fires that do not require a fire permit, for example gas barbecues, approved incinerators, permanent outdoor fireplaces and cultural cooking fires such as hangi or umu.

Fires on the beach require a permit all year round because the wind changes throughout the day and the vegetation near beaches catches fire easily.
Untrimmed grass can also be a hazard.

Kapiti Coast District Council environmental standards manager Jacquie Muir said, "Long dry grass can cause fires to spread quickly so it's important at this time of year that people keep any grass around their property trimmed.

"As property owners we all have a responsibility to make sure our property is kept in a safe condition and that means taking practical steps to remove any potential fire hazards."

Fire and Emergency assistant area commander Gareth Hughes added, "Letting off fireworks and releasing Chinese lanterns in this dry weather is a serious fire hazard that should be avoided."

- Kapiti News

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