Date: 10 October 2012
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is reminding the public to be careful when lighting fires, after a campfire started a scrub fire on a beach at Thornton Wildlife Management Reserve, Whakatane at the weekend.
The public should be aware there is a fire safety margin of 1 km from the boundary of public conservation land. A written fire permit from DOC is required for fires on or within 1 km of all public conservation land in the East Coast and Bay of Plenty regions says Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer, Malcolm Smith.
“Please be careful out there with any fires, even those lit outside public conservation land.”
“Camp or beach fires are the biggest threat because people walk away and leave them unattended”, says Mr Smith.
Most fires are due to carelessness; lighting a fire near volatile fuels or in windy conditions, not fully extinguishing a fire before leaving a campsite.
You can be held personally liable for the costs of fighting a rural fire, if you are proved responsible for causing it.
The weather plays a major role in how many fires start, how intense they are, the damage done and how difficult they are to extinguish.
If you require a fire permit contact the nearest DOC office.
Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer
Mobile: +64 27 4998 527