Blunt message to Northlanders as fire risk soars

Fire authorities in Northland have delivered a blunt message after some residents continue to ignore a total fire ban the region.

A lack of rain means there is an extreme fire danger and drought-like conditions.

Fire and Emergency Northland region manager Ron Devlin said there had been over 100 avoidable fires already in Northland this fire season, which was causing concern.

"A total fire ban means people should not be lighting any fires - including rubbish fires," said Devlin.

"We've been working hard alongside our partner agencies to get this message through to Northlanders but unfortunately some people are continuing to ignore the total fire ban and are lighting fires anyway."

He said while there was a preference to educate and work alongside communities, prosecution could be an option.

"There is extreme fire danger currently and in these conditions a fire can have catastrophic consequences."

In Waipapakauri on Friday, three helicopters were needed to battle an out-of-control rubbish fire that burnt five hectares.

On Sunday a scrub fire in Paihia caused a dozen homes to be evacuated.

"I'm asking people to avoid doing anything that may cause a spark and start a fire.

"The fire danger is too extreme and it's too dry at the moment."