The Hauraki Gulf moved to a Prohibited Fire Season at 8am on Thursday 1 December, with the prohibition in place until further notice.
A prohibited fire season means a total ban on outdoor fires, and all previously granted fire permits are suspended.
Te Hiku region manager, Ron Devlin, says the combination of a wet winter and a warm spring has led to exceptional growth of scrub and grasses on the islands in the Hauraki Gulf.
“With increasing temperatures, these fuels have the potential to dry out very quickly. All it takes is for a period of drying winds, and the risk of wildfires occurring and spreading is raised considerably.
“It’s important that we reduce the risks as much as possible before the summer season kicks in and brings an increase in visitors and holidaymakers to the islands.
“With this in mind, the decision has been made to prohibit all outdoor fires across all islands in the Hauraki Gulf until further notice.”
Ron Devlin asks all Hauraki Gulf communities and visitors to do their part in helping to reduce the risk of wildfire spread.
“ It only takes one spark to start a devastating wildfire. That spark can come from the site of an historic controlled burn, a lawnmower, or powerlines sagging into vegetation.
“Contact your power supplier if you have any concerns, and if the wires are sparking or smoking, call 111 immediately.”
He says it’s also important to make sure your home is fire safe.
"Protect your home by making sure your roofs and gutters are clear of dead leaves, debris and pine needles as these can create fuel for a fire. Move anything that could burn (such as mulch, leaves, firewood piles) away from exterior walls, decks or porches. Have a fire plan."
You can find information about what you can and can’t do during a prohibited fire season as well as fire safety tips at www.checkitsalright.nz.