The scene of Friday’s house fire which has prompted emergency services to hold a session on fire safety. Photo: Supplied.

Fire risk prompts reserve warning

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Increasing fire risk across Nelson has prompted the council to urge walkers to stay in the lower parts of certain reserves in case a blaze breaks out.

The warning is to aide evacuation in case of a fire, a spokesperson says.

The risk is increasing due to drying winds and low rainfall and the Nelson City Council will be erecting signage on its well used trails to make sure users are aware of the rising fire risk.

Fires are now banned in all reserves. In those areas, council recommends people only use the reserve early in the morning or in the evening.

“Please avoid high fire risk areas, such as reserves with  forest or dense vegetation,  in the afternoon when conditions are at their warmest.”

Council strongly advises that reserve users remain in the lower areas only of the following reserves, this is for ease of evacuation in the case of a fire.

  • Grampians Reserve
  • Tantragee Reserve (Codgers)
  • Sir Stanley Whitehead
    Reserve
  • Botanical Hill Reserve
  • Brook Conservation Reserve
  • Maitai Water Reserve
  • Marsden Valley Reserve
  • Roding Water Reserve

The BUI (Build Up Index) has reached 60. The BUI is used by Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) and other agencies to measure fire risk – it’s “an indicator of the difficulty in suppressing a fire that has started”.

If the BUI reaches 80, council will be seeking FENZ advice on the possibility of closing reserves with a high risk profile.

At a BUI of 100, all reserves will close. There is now a complete fire ban in all parks and reserves.

Please take note of this advice for your own safety and if you see signs of smoke or fire in any reserves please call 111 immediately.

The move comes as, last Friday, fire crews from around Nelson battled an early morning blaze at a Tahunanui home.

A fire spokesperson said that crews from Nelson, Stoke, Richmond, Hira and Appleby were called to the incident at about 2.10am and acted quickly to prevent it spreading to neighbouring properties.

Photos from the site show that the single storey home and bush around the property was well ablaze. The fire was put out by 3.40am.