What you need to know about the ban on machinery use - fire update 39
Where did the directive come from?
It was issued under Section 91 of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act. The Civil Defence controller has the ability to issue the directive.
It complements the current complete fire ban in both the Tasman District and Nelson City.
There was an extreme fire risk in the areas defined in Tasman and Nelson prior to the ignition of the Pigeon Valley fire. This remains.
While the control and containment of the current fire is the focus it is essential we reduce the risk of fire in other areas. Since the Pigeon Valley fire started, two unrelated fires, at Moturoa/Rabbit island and Walters Bluff, have required the diversion of essential resources away from the larger fire.
What does it mean?
Prohibited activities includes any activity where metal meets stone, ie mowing, discing, harrowing, stump grinding and cultivation.
Any outdoor activity with a risk of generating sparks or fire, ie gas cutting, welding, grinding and the use of chainsaws or scrub/bar cutters, is prohibited.
Commercial forest harvesting activity has already ceased and will do so until the directive is rescinded.
Are there any exemptions?
Provision can be made for the loading and shifting of harvested forestry material. This provision needs to be applied from and authorised by the CDEM Controller.
The directive should not limit activities where the risk of spark and/or fire is manageable, such as operating on bare earth, pavement, seal or other hard inflammable, but only when there is access to pressurised source of water or some other form of extinguisher. Other activities such as feeding stock or horticultural spraying would be considered safe.
Land or business owners need to be aware of their activities generally, such as where vehicles are parked (ie not on long grass), don’t mow the lawns and make sure any electric fences are not arcing.