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Firefighters on high alert as temperatures soar

Wednesday 30 Jan 2013 9:44 a.m.

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The Fire Service is warning the potential for scrub fires today is extreme, with crews ready to be deployed around the country at the drop of a hat.

Forecasters are predicting extremely high temperatures for much of the country, resulting in an elevated fire risk.

Rural fire authority operations manager Gary Lockyer is urging residents to be sensible in the tinder-dry conditions.

“Don’t be tempted to even try and burn any rubbish or light a cooking fire or those sorts of activities, because any fire could spread through those dry vegetation areas very fast.”

The hot dry summer also has many farmers praying for rain.

Hawke’s Bay is getting close to drought conditions, and farmers in the Wairarapa say if they don’t get rain soon it will be costly.

Federated Farmers Wairarapa president Jamie Falloon says if the hot weather lasts much longer, things are going to get "tough".

He's already sent his cows north to Taumarunui to graze, after a dry winter.

"We've been lucky enough to find grazing for those cows in other places, so that's been great."

Mr Falloon says the Wairarapa area is having a "normal" summer, and farmers there are just looking forward to some "good autumn rain".

"We're down to replacement stock and ewes, and need a good rain in March in order to build some feed up to get the ewes in good condition for mating. That sets your income for the next year… we'll accept rain at any time, hopefully at night so the urban people can enjoy time at the beach."

3 News/RadioLIVE

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