The Nelson Tasman area is now experiencing a prohibited fire season, with a total ban on all open air fires.
This follows high temperatures, high wind and lack of rain throughout the region.
The increasing heat is a big factor in fire risk at this time of the year, and this past week have seen temperatures in the area and throughout the country soar.
Nelson MP Nick Smith says that “we are not immune from the sort of horrific fires that have caused fatalities in places like Portugal, California and Australia. We need to heed the messages of Fire and Emergency New Zealand and our rural fire officers on fire bans and closed areas.
“I have not seen conditions this vulnerable or our fire staff so nervous since 2001. The areas of most concern are coastal forests like Rabbit Island, the eastern side of the Takaka Hill and Hira, where the Fire Service has classified the risk as very high or extreme.”
Nick is particularly nervous about the need for careful risk management of the Luminate Summer Festival, with thousands of campers gathering in the Canaan Downs this week.
“We need to communicate to these festival goers the extreme fire risk and the need for them to respect the complete fire ban in this area. We want them to be safe and for them to pose no risk of fire to the adjacent forested park.”
“Until we get rain or cooler temperatures, we need everybody on alert and being extra cautious.”