Hot dry weather will bring extreme fire danger over the next few days meaning that one careless act could spark a devastating blaze.
“Our beautiful summer weather is pushing the risk of fire into the extreme meaning fires will start easily and they will spread fast,” says DOC fire officer Tony Teeling.
DOC staff, already on high alert, are preparing for extremely dry conditions across almost all of the North Island, Canterbury and Otago by 3 February.
“DOC asks that people do not light fires at all over the next few days while temperatures soar and humidity plummets,” says Teeling.
“In addition avoid driving off-road, hot outdoor work such as grinding and welding, and use of motorised equipment such as mowers, chainsaws and scrub bars.
“In situations where people have already lit fires, please return to the old fire site to confirm it is totally out.
“Back country users need to take extreme care with all cooking devices, ensuring they are in an area clear of vegetation and cannot easily be upset.”
Under the Forest and Rural Fires Act, DOC is the Rural Fire Authority responsible for preventing and controlling fire on public conservation land, all unoccupied crown land and within one kilometre of these lands.
Buildup Index (BUI)
A rating of the total amount of fuel available for combustion that combines Duff Moisture Code and Drought Code. The BUI is one of two codes that make up the Fire Weather Index
Drought Code (DC)
A rating of the average moisture content of deep, compact, organic layers. This code is a useful indicator of seasonal drought effects on forest fuels and amount of smouldering in deep duff layers and large logs
Duff Moisture Code (DMC)
A rating of the average moisture content of loosely compacted organic layers of moderate depth
Structure of the FWI System
The diagram below illustrates the components of the FWI System. Calculation of the components is based on consecutive daily observations of temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and 24-hour rainfall. The six standard components provide numeric ratings of relative potential for wildland fire.