THE total fire ban for Opotiki has been lifted and a restricted fire season is now in place. File photo

THE prohibited fire season over the Opotiki district has been lifted.

Deputy principal rural fire officer Paul Hunter said the total fire ban had been lifted and a restricted fire season was now in place, meaning that fire permits were now required and would be issued on approval.

Mr Hunter said the Opotiki district had very few vegetation fires recently.

“This is, of course, because of the compliance by the residents to the total fire ban,” he said.

“Fire Emergency New Zealand would like to thank the people of Opotiki for being compliant.”

Fire permit changes for Opotiki

OPOTIKI residents can no longer apply for fire permits through the Opotiki District Council, following the removal of the related bylaw.

The Fire Prevention Bylaw was revoked at a council meeting earlier this week.

The bylaw was introduced in 2008 and contained clauses relating to fire permits, flammable/combustible materials and open-air fires.

In 2017, the Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) Act was introduced, transferring fire control powers from territorial authorities to FENZ.

“Basically, the new [organisation] takes over all of those rules,” said deputy mayor Lyn Riesterer.

This change will also affect applications for fire permits, as these will no longer be available through the council.

All rural and urban fire permits will be processed online through checkitsalright.nz, which also provides details on fire bans and more by region or town/city.