Three-day total fire ban for Central Otago

Forecast extreme fire danger across Central Otago has prompted Fire and Emergency to declare a three-day total fire ban starting on Saturday morning.  

Fire and Emergency NZ is also prohibiting activities in Central Otago that cause sparks, such as grinding, chainsawing and lawn mowing.

It is also asking people to defer any burning activates planned this weekend and Monday.

Principal rural fire officer Graeme Still said the conditions meant fires that were normally easy to control would become very difficult during extreme fire conditions.

"Very warm temperatures and low humidity will dry vegetation and other material, making it very easy to ignite.  Even light winds can fan embers back into life from previous burns putting surrounding property at risk," he said.

Still said people who had burnt fires in the last month should check them as the conditions could fan a fire back into life and transport embers into other dry vegetation.