Press Releases

Fire Ban from Friday

19 December 2007

A fire ban will apply across the Queenstown Lakes District from Friday, Queenstown Lakes District Council principal rural fire officer Gordon Bailey said.

"The prohibited fire season will apply to all areas of the district including all settlements and townships and all Department of Conservation land from midnight on Friday 21 December," Mr Bailey said.

The only fires that would be permitted were electric or gas barbeques in properly constructed containers and fires in approved, purpose-built, permanent surrounds.

"Although we have had some rain, conditions remain extremely dry. People need to take extreme precautions, particularly with cigarette butts, and when using chainsaws and gas barbeques in open areas," he said.

It was also timely to remind visitors to Pig and Pigeon Islands on Lake Wakatipu and Ruby Island on Lake Wanaka that a total fire ban applied year round to those recreation areas.

The penalties for lighting a fire without a permit or under a prohibited fire season were severe.

"Costs to suppress the fire - including man hours, appliances, and aircraft - and repairs for any damage caused may be sought from the person responsible but of course we would prefer to have no fire at all," Mr Bailey said.

The total ban has been jointly declared by the council and the Department of Conservation.

ENDS

For further information please contact Gordon Bailey 03 441 0499.