Weather: Fire Service running out of options as fire risk worsens

A complete fire ban has been declared in the Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara districts as the hot weather shows no signs of giving up.

A hot-dry summer and little rain has left all the land north of Auckland parched and exhausted firefighters with few options.

Fire crews say they're stretched in the peak of the fire season and are urging locals to stick to the fire ban.

"It's hot and it's dry," says fire officer Rory Renwick. "We're getting significant fires pretty much every day, and our crews are pretty stretched."

Their concerns have been fuelled by the relentlessly hot temperatures, and on Tuesday as they continued to soar the roads bled black.

Road surfaces have been reaching more than 50degC, which is when they start to soften. The New Zealand Transport Agency says it's monitoring the situation, and has the water trucks on standby if they begin to melt.

Those water trucks were deployed last week to douse the busiest highway in the country, as the melting roads backed up traffic and left motorists caught in queues.

"You could smell the tar - it was yuk, you could smell it in the car," one motorist told Newshub. "They clearly need to do something about the roads."

And with the hot temperatures not giving up, all eyes will be watching the hot roads and any signs of fire.


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