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Fire restrictions across region from Saturday

A RESTRICTED fire season will be introduced from 8am next Saturday morning, which means a permit will be needed for all fires in the open anywhere in the district.

Principal rural fire officer Richard Steele says the time has now come to impose the restriction.

“The wet weather last month delayed a decision over the festive season but the vegetation round the district is now drying out a lot more.

“There is no doubt about that and whatever rain we might get this week is not going to make a difference.”

The fire risk across the region varies, Mr Steele says.

“In parts of the region the risk is medium to very high and it’s climbing.”

The fire restriction covers the whole of the Gisborne District Council area.

“People need to take extreme care lighting fires in the open and after Saturday they will need a permit to do so,” Mr Steele says.

People who put up Chinese lanterns also need a permit.

“There were a number of lanterns sent up on two nights over the new year.”

The restricted fire season means a fire permit is required before any fire can be lit in the open air.

“Applications for fire permits may take up to three working days to process.”

A total fire ban remains in place for all freedom camping areas and beaches in the Gisborne District.

“Gas barbeques and gas cookers are excluded from the restrictions and no permit is required.

“People are reminded that a ?permanent restricted fire season applies to all urban areas all year round, which means all fires in the open need a permit.”

A permanent restricted fire season also applies to all plantation forests within the Eastland Rural District and Department of Conservation territories within the Gisborne District.

Applications for fire permits in these areas needs to be made to the Eastland Rural Fire District or the Department of Conservation.