Open fire season announced for Waikato district

Waikato District Council is moving to an open fire season effective from Wednesday 5 April 2017 meaning that fire permits are no longer required for fires in the open air.

The exceptions to this are those areas within a 1km margin of any Department of Conservation area and those properties located in the Mangatawhiri Swamp area, which is loosely between Koheroa Road and State Highway 2. These areas require a permit for fires year-round.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Andy Baker says that as the result of the significant rainfall recently, the risk has decreased sufficiently to allow for the introduction of an open season.

He reminds people however that they remain responsible for any fire they light or allow to be lit on their property.

“Despite the wet weather, there is always the possibility that a fire will get out of control quickly and that suppression costs may become the responsibility of the person lighting the fire,” says Mr Baker.

Mr Baker wants to thank the large number of people in the Waikato district who obtained fire permits over the summer period.

He believes this has contributed to a relatively smaller number of callouts to out of control vegetation fires this year.

Waikato District Council and Mr Baker express their appreciation to the volunteer and professional fire fighters and their families for their efforts over the restricted fire season period.