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Total Fire Ban in place from 15 January 2015 -

The next few weeks through high summer and into early autumn are usually the hottest, driest time of the year in Marlborough and that means we are entering our peak fire risk period.

There have already been several outbreaks of fire in the region, some of which have cost property owners dearly.

Principal Rural Fire Officer for the Marlborough Kaikoura Rural Fire Authority, Richard McNamara, says any time a gusty west-norwesterly blows the fire risk increases, particularly in the dry central Marlborough grasslands and tussock country. 

“These areas are fuel for fires with large quantities of dead, dry grass and tussock. Combined with the lack of rain, high temperatures and wind, that's a recipe for fast-moving, dangerous fires,” he said.

From 8am on Thursday 15 January 2015 a TOTAL FIRE BAN will be in place in the Marlborough District Council Rural Fire Zone.

This ban covers land south of the Wairau River including Rarangi down to the Clarence River, except for Molesworth, upper Wairau & Rainbow Valleys that are administered under the DOC Zone.  You can find out more information on the current fire season status and inspect a map of the region showing the fire season in each area at

The Total Fire Ban will also cover all urban areas of Renwick, Blenheim, Seddon and Ward.

All fires in the open within these areas will be banned including enclosed incinerators, pizza ovens, braziers and solid fuel barbecues.  The only types of fire exempted from this ban are gas-fired barbecues.

The ban will remain in place until such time as the elevated fire risk declines, either through persistent rainfall and/or falling temperatures.

People in the region should also be aware that there are restricted fire seasons in place across most of the remaining area within the MKRFA's district.  The only exception is in the Kaikoura area, between the Kowhai and Hapuku rivers, bounding the Kaikoura flats, which is still in an open season.

The fire risk in this area will be assessed as required and if fire dangers increase over the following weeks a fire restriction in this area will also be considered by the MKRFA.

Environment Canterbury has additional rules regarding burning in the open air. Anyone wishing to light a fire in the Kaikoura area, irrespective of the above exemption, should contact Environment Canterbury, Kaikoura, regarding the regional council's rules and regulations.

Remember – fire in our landscape is everyone's responsibility.


richard mcnamara