Fire bans to hit NZ as sizzling temperatures arrive

Fire bans to hit NZ as sizzling temperatures arrive
Photo credit: File

The hot temperatures of a good Kiwi summer have finally arrived and with them comes tinder dry conditions and serious fire risk. 

Prohibited fire seasons will take effect at midnight for several places throughout the country, and people are being urged to take it seriously. 

Tinder dry grass and warm, windy weather are a dangerous combination which have prompted several fire bans throughout the country.

Extra resources are on standby as New Zealand moves into sizzling temperatures this weekend.

The major hotspots stretch from Northland down to the Waikato and along the the east coast of both the North and South Islands

NIWA's Maria Augutis told Newshub the area of the biggest concern is the upper North Island.

"We have meteorological drought conditions in eastern Northland, eastern Auckland and also parts of Waikato so it is very very dry," she said. "We do expect the dryness to continue towards next week as well."

There's been a prohibited fire season in Northland since January 9 and several other places are also moving to either total bans or restricted seasons. People are being urged not to be complacent.

Things people may have been doing all summer could now be considered a serious fire risk - something as simple as mowing your lawns, which people are being urged to do in the morning when it's cooler.

Rural fire manager Tim Mitchell told Newshub they want to avoid the fires starting in the first place.

Fire seasons are getting longer and the fires are getting larger. The likes of the Port Hills fires in 2017 and Nelson last year are a reminder of just how careful people need to be.