Fire ban to be put in place to limit possible demands on emergency services
31 March 2020
Nelson Tasman Civil Defence and Emergency Management (NTCDEM) Group have made the decision to implement a ban on the lighting of fires in the outdoors. This decision was made under section 91 of the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Act. Permit holders will no longer be able to light any outdoor fires.
The decision followed a request from local Fire and Emergency and Councils asking the NTCDEM Group to help ensure no additional demands were placed on local Fire and Emergency resources. If a fire callout was required, then this would increase the exposure of those responding to other people, potentially enabling a greater spread of the virus.
NTCDEM Group Controller Roger Ball indicated the importance of this step. “Implementing the fire ban requires Civil Defence intervention, as it is to do with limiting the spread of a virus and not a change in the risk of a fire. We all need to work together to help limit the spread of COVID-19.”
The request from Fire and Emergency also recognises that the fire risk in the Nelson Tasman region remains moderately high.
Principal Rural Fire Officer, Ian Reade, said that although there had been a little bit of rain over the past few weeks, it was still considered very dry. “We’ve had between 20-30% of normal rainfall over the last 3 months across the district. On a fine, warm day the fire risk can increase significantly, so we need to limit the possibility that our crews will need to respond to a fire.”
Nelson Tasman Civil Defence and Emergency Management
Public Information Manager - Paul Shattock 021 225 2568