Wednesday 22 February, 2017
Ashburton District Council is advising residents a total fire ban for the district is likely to remain in place until further notice, following reports the National Rural Fire Authority may lift its Canterbury-wide fire ban
Mid-South Canterbury Rural Fire Authority will review Ashburton District's fire season status on Monday 27 February, and is likely to continue the fire ban, which would prohibit all open fires including field burn-offs in the district.
Council Environmental Services Group Manager Jane Donaldson says the region's dry conditions are too dangerous for open fires and is urging residents to heed any fire prohibitions put in place.
"Our fire weather data shows most of the indices are 'very high' or 'extreme' at the moment. The likelihood of a fire getting out of hand is a lot greater in these instances and getting them back under control can be very difficult. It would be irresponsible for fires to be lit in these conditions," she says.
On top of this, Ms Donaldson says starting fires here would put too much strain on the District's fire brigades.
"Many of our rural fire services have been busy helping with the Port Hills efforts during the last week and this has stretched their resources considerably. People need to be responsible and not light fires that could forces our brigades and volunteers to redirect their already hard-pressed services."
It is unknown when the fire ban will be lifted.