Thursday, 22 January 2015 00:00

More fire bans likely

Written by 
Ander Crofoot Ander Crofoot

The hot dry weather has seen total fire bans imposed on many parts of the South Island and Wairarapa will soon have one, says Federated Farmers national vice president Anders Crofoot.

 Permits are now required for fires in the open in Wairarapa.

Crofoot is the chief rural fire officer at Castlepoint, where he farms, and he says Wairarapa is having a typical dry summer.  Many farmers moved early to de-stock.

Fire is a real risk for farmers and when things ignite it doesn’t take long for a fire to take off. “In normal circumstances you might have a grass fire which goes on until it hits grazed pasture then it peters out. But when things get this dry it carries on a helluva lot further,” he told Rural News. 

“When we have really dry conditions – low humidity and hot temperatures – that creates huge fire risks. So the bans are just trying to eliminate initial ignition. We have already seen a couple of fires by the side of the road, where someone was having problems and pulled off into long grass and the hot muffler started things.” 

Getting adequate water is the biggest problem for rural firefighters. Crofoot says the difficulties occur when a fire starts spreading across big areas and it’s hard to get people and water to them.

“So well maintained pastures are a good firebreak. I’ve seen situations where the fire just came up to the grazed fence and stopped.” 

But once a fire spreads into trees or bush the only effective way of putting it out is to use a helicopter with a monsoon bucket or a fixed wing aircraft with a fire retardant. 

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

Future up in the air in Kaikoura

The roads to the south have mostly reopened but the uncertainty remains for the dairy farmers of Kaikoura following the November 14 earthquake.

Generators scrambled to power milking

Generators are being organised for dairy farmers in the upper South Island so that they could milk cows, says Federated Farmers North Canterbury Dairy chairperson Michael Woodward.

South Island milk production steady

DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says while farmers in the North Island have taken a hit from the weather, in the South Island the dairy season started well.

Northern exposure

Every wine region has its challenges but when it comes to New Zealand's smallest ones, the trials of weather, climate and transportation can take on new levels of difficulty.

» The RNG Weather Report


A big future ahead

Age hasn't been a barrier for young vegetable grower of the year Austin Singh Purewal.


Sheep and beef doing its bit

No increase in stock numbers in the sheep and beef sector is anticipated as the industry moves towards carbon neutrality, says Beef + Lamb NZ head of nutrition Fiona Windle.

Fonterra lifts milk price

Good news for Fonterra farmers – the co-op is increasing its 2019-20 forecast farmgate milk price by 30c/kgMS.

» Connect with Rural News

» Connect with Rural News

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Chipping in

The Hound was intrigued to read an article recently, on the Newsroom website, that shows that Education Minister Chris ‘Chippy’…

I'm alright

This old mutt has been contacted by many concerned individuals about the role the former Synlait boss John Penno is…


» Connect with Rural News