The recent devastating fire south of Whitianga has local fire chiefs pleading for extreme vigilance. The Coromandel region is tinder dry and resources are stretched dealing with the aftermath of the huge fire that tore through homes and bush – 21 hotspots remain and fire crews are still on site to prevent the fire restarting.
This means that our local fire fighters might not be immediately available and are already exhausted and stressed from their experience at the Whitianga fire. Chief of the Onemana Rural Fire Force Jo Adams described the speed and heat of the fire as “absolutely terrifying”.
Jo would like to stress to our community how extreme the current fire risk is: everything is very dry, the local crews are already committed to the Whitianga situation and most importantly attending fire crews cannot rely on water in domestic tanks being available to use in the fire appliances as many tanks are already running low. Even candles and gas bbqs pose a risk in this instance, please exercise great caution and keep an eye on any open flame.
If you see anything that concerns you don’t hesitate to call Jo Adams on 0274493034.
TOTAL FIRE BAN EXTENDED
In the interests of public safety, and due to the ‘very dry’ conditions prevailing at this time with no significant rain forecast in the foreseeable future, the undersigned Rural Fire Authorities extend the ‘Total Fire Ban’ until further notice.
The Fire Ban covers all lands within the Thames-Coromandel & Hauraki District Council areas including Department of Conservation Lands and the Forest areas owned by Ernslaw One, Matariki Forests and CFG NZ Company Ltd.
The ‘Fire Ban’ includes land clearing fires, rubbish fires, beach fires, domestic fireworks, sky lanterns, braziers, open top non-type approved incinerators, traditional cooking and hangi fires.
The Fire Ban does not include gas fuelled cookers or gas fuelled BBQs in a public place or on private land providing weather conditions are favourable, they are operated by an adult and they are used in a safe considerate manner.
The Fire Ban does not include the following ‘open air fires’ on private land providing weather conditions are favourable, they are operated by an adult in a safe considerate manner and extinguished before being left unattended:
Pre-approved solid fuelled BBQ constructed of non-combustible materials, with a chimney and spark arrestor.
Pre-approved outside fire place constructed of non-combustible materials with chimney and spark arrestor.
Pre-approved pizza oven constructed of non-combustible materials with chimney and spark arrestor.
Within TCDC Urban areas compliant Open Fires and Pizza ovens that meet the requirements in schedule 1 of the TCDC Fires in the Open Bylaw.
Fire Authorities may consider fire permit applications for ‘cooking & hangi fires’ for Community and Cultural events on private land, however each application will be considered on its merits. For enquiries contact your local Council or Department of Conservation Office.
Pursuant to Section 43 of the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 any person lighting a fire in the ‘open air’ is liable for all suppression costs should the fire escape. A fire permit does not indemnify the permit holder from any liability for costs or damages caused by the fire.
District Fire Officers wish to thank all residents and visitors to the area for their patience and understanding.
Check out our website http://www.tcdc.govt.nz/fire and follow us on Facebook for regular updates and further information.