Total fire ban issued for Southland

A total fire ban has been issued across Southland, beginning on Monday.
A total fire ban has been issued across Southland, beginning on Monday. Photo credit: Getty

A total fire ban has been issued across Southland, beginning on Monday.

The ban comes in the wake of Sunday's 32degC highs.

"There is an extreme fire risk for the next two days, with the forecast for even higher temperatures as well as wind," says Elton Smith, the principal rural fire officer.

"Already today we have had five vegetation fires across the region, and we're on standby for more over the next couple of days,

"The total fire ban means no outdoor fires are allowed, and any existing permits for fires are cancelled."

The only exception is for gas BBQs - and they must only be used well away from anything that can catch fire.

A low approaching from the Tasman Sea is set to spread rain and strong northerly winds over most of New Zealand from the middle of the week.

A rain band associated with the low should move onto western parts of New Zealand late on Tuesday, then move slowly across the rest of the country on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Strong winds are also expected, especially around the top of the North Island late on Tuesday and Wednesday.

NZN / Newshub.