New fire restrictions have been put in place at Kawakawa Bay following an increase in use of the popular bay west of Kinloch on Lake Taupō.
New signs erected at the lake edge by the Department of Conservation prohibit any form of fire in the bay: that means no open fires, no camp fires, and no fireworks – only controlled gas cookers are permitted.
Kawakawa Bay has always been popular with rock climbers and boaties as an overnight camping spot. The new shelter has made it even more attractive, however more visitors mean more fires and with that the risk of wild fires grows.
“The dry, scrubby nature of the vegetation in the bay means fires will start easily and spread fast. That’s the last thing anyone wants in such a popular recreation area,” says Senior Ranger Murray Cleaver.
With the long hot summer we are experiencing, the restrictions come as a timely reminder about fire safety. DOC wants to ensure locals and visitors are under no illusion about how easily a campfire at the beach can lead to a bush fire.
Similar restrictions on fires in the open have long been in place at most other lakeside reserves managed by DOC, including Whakaipo Bay.
If you see an illegal fire you can report it to the emergency hotline DOC HOT 0800 362 468.