Fire  |  30 Apr 2020

Christchurch City and Banks Peninsula, along with Selwyn and North Canterbury, will be moving to open fire season status from midnight Saturday 2 May.

But Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) is asking people to think twice before lighting an open-air fire.

“While we know essential industries like farmers will still need to light fires as part of their land management, we would appreciate if people would hold off lighting non-essential fires for a couple more weeks while we remain under COVID-19 Alert Level 3,'' says Principal Rural Fire Officer Bruce Janes.

That is because even if a fire is permitted and under control, the smoke generated often results in a 111 call from the public, meaning firefighters need to leave their bubble to respond to the call-out.

Across the Canterbury and Christchurch Metro Areas were attended nearly 60 rubbish fires during the Level 4 lockdown, this compared to 20 across the same period last year.

“We know that weather conditions have been good across Canterbury and that burning is an easy way to dispose of waste, but we would prefer Cantabrians hold off a few more weeks.

The EcoDrop transfer stations at Parkhouse Road, Bromley and Styx Mill have re-opened under Alert Level 3 but people wanting to drop-off waste must make a booking.

Find out more about transfer station operations under Alert Level 3.