Mid Canterbury residents using their log fires to keep the winter chills at bay are being reminded to let their hot ashes cool properly before binning them, as they can ignite and start a fire.
Hot ashes have been the culprit in six wheelie bin fires in the district already this winter, and Council Service Delivery Group Manager Neil McCann says it's critical that residents are only putting cold ashes in the rubbish bin.
"If the ashes haven't had adequate time to cool, they can smoulder in your wheelie bin and cause a fire. Even if the ashes have been cooling for a couple of days, they can still have hot coals or embers that are just warm enough to light up the other rubbish in your bin.
"If your bin catches alight, the fire could also spread to your house. Please make sure the ashes have properly cooled before they go in the bin."
Hot ashes are best stored in a metal ash container or metal bucket to cool for several days before being bagged and placed in the red rubbish bin. Pouring water on the ash can also help to put out any smouldering coal and embers.