Understanding fire risk conditions will now be clearer and simpler, thanks to a new online tool launched today by the Minister in charge of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti.
“Last summer, wildfires destroyed over 10,000 hectares of native bird habitat. No one wants their property destroyed or their life disrupted by fire, but many of us don’t realise just how risky some common activities are,” Jan Tinetti says.
The new mobile-friendly tool on Fire and Emergency’s checkitsalright.nz website makes it easier for people to understand fire danger conditions across the country and helps make informed decisions about lighting outdoor fires this summer.
“New Zealanders can check local fire danger and fire season status, and get clear guidance on whether they need a permit to light a fire or not.
The tool is part of Fire and Emergency’s Summer Wildfire Prevention Campaign which uses native birds as ambassadors to illustrate the wildlife at stake with wildfires.
“Climate change mean that fires present a growing threat to communities here and overseas. As we enter a hot, dry summer, it is important people understand the risks and act accordingly.
“This year, the wildfire season has started earlier. We’ve already had two significant fires, with 3500 hectares devastated at Aoraki/Mt Cook – and 5000 hectares with 48 buildings, melted water tanks, and destroyed power and water systems at Lake Ōhau.
“In New Zealand, 99% of wildfires are started by people – it only takes a spark. Our actions make all the difference, especially when the fire danger is heightened over summer,” Jan Tinetti says.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand wants fire risks to be front of mind for everyone thinking of lighting fires or undertaking spark generating activities this summer. Before lighting any kind of fire, check the local fire danger at www.checkitsalright.nz