Farmers and others in Mid South Canterbury wanting to light fires in the open should check the fire season status first, as the situation varies depending on where they are. This is easily done online at www.checkitsalright.nz
The Ashburton High Country, Mackenzie Basin High Country and the Hakataramea Valley are all in a Restricted Fire Season, where permits are required for open fires.
The Upper Waitaki is in a Prohibited Fire Season, meaning that no outdoor fires are allowed. While part of this area is in Fire and Emergency’s Otago District, many people associate it with South Canterbury.
There is also a temporary fireworks ban in the Mackenzie Basin.
Fire and Emergency’s Mid South Canterbury District Manager, Rob Hands, says that the rest of the district remains in an Open Fire Season. This stretches from the south bank of the Rakaia River to the north bank of the Waitaki River.
“It’s really important for people to use the Checkitsalright website before they light up because conditions change very quickly at this time of year.” In an open season, outdoor fires are allowed as long as people take sensible precautions, including avoiding lighting fires when strong winds are forecast, watching the fire at all times, and making sure it is completely out before leaving. There is fire safety advice for all kinds of fires, including bonfires, land management fires and hangi / umu at www.checkitsalright.nz