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Fire and Emergency Incident Management at Twizel

You may have seen that Twizel’s volunteer fire brigade recently hosted some additional staff from Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) recently. You may also have talked to them in town, or come to the public meeting.

This extra activity was triggered by the situation here in Twizel where conditions were deemed to be the most extreme since 2008. The forecast hot, dry and windy conditions meant that any vegetation fire would move very quickly and would be challenging for firefighters to bring under control and put out.

Fire and Emergency proactively set up an Incident Management Team at the Twizel Fire station, ready to respond to any vegetation fire in the Mackenzie Basin during a period of elevated fire danger forecast between 10-14 January.

They also put out some advice for everyone in the community to help reduce the risk of fire.
Reminder: all outdoor fires are prohibited. There is also a complete ban on letting off fireworks. We need all residents and visitors to do their part to prevent any fires.

Please be aware of high-risk activities including:

  • Using equipment that generate sparks, or where blades can strike a stone and cause a spark (eg welders, grinders, mowers, chainsaws). Delay this activity until early morning or evening, or wait for cooler weather
  • Parking vehicles in long grass – hot exhausts can start a fire
  • Dropping cigarette butts

Be very careful with outdoor BBQs and cultural fires – there is advice on the checkitsalright.nz website on how to do this safely.

Every household in the rural area and outskirts of communities should take steps to make their homes and property less vulnerable and easier to defend against wildfire.

This includes:

  • Clearing flammable material from 10m around homes and buildings.
  • Moving firewood stacked against houses
  • Clearing gutters of dried leaves etc that will easily catch fire
  • Clearing flammable material from under decks
  • Trimming trees and bushes and removing the trimmings
  • Keeping grass short (using a trimmer with a nylon line is safer in these conditions than a mower or trimmer with a metal blade that could create a spark)
  • Make sure your Rural Addresses Property Identification (RAPID) number is clearly signposted

You can find more advice on line at: fireandemergency.nz > Outdoor and Rural Fire Safety > Protect your home from outdoor fires.

Every home should have an evacuation plan. There is advice on what to do on the Fire and Emergency website - fireandemergency.nz.