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News & Notices

Te Waka Whakapiripiri.

Northern Fire and Emergency New Zealand is responsible for fire reduction, this means stopping wildfires from happening. To achieve this we need to get involved in our communities, especially those at risk from fire.

Horeke/ Taheke is one of those areas, the unique combination of climatic conditions, increasing temperatures, topography, deprivation, disaffection, lack of opportunity, large concentration of fuel (Including plantation forest) and its remoteness is accountable for approximately 60% of hectares burnt and 50% of suppression costs fires last three years within the Northern Rural Fire District. There is also the ongoing effect on the environment and costs to the economy when pine plantation is lost.

In an ambitious move and a total step change, the Northern Fire and Emergency New Zealand Principal Fire Officer leading, in conjunction with the New Zealand Police (Northland) and Fire and Emergency New Zealand are going to work with the Horeke community and build a Waka. This will fit with The Northern Fire and Emergency New Zealand Principal Fire Officers quest to get involved with Youth and communities in the Far North.

If successful the project will lift education, health, responsibility, self esteem and in turn generate future building blocks as far reaching as fire prevention, lower crime, better employment opportunities, tourism and business for the local region. The construction of the Waka will be overseen by Master Waka builder Hector Busby and Hemi Eruera from Te Tai Tokorau Tari Waka base in Aurere.

It is envisioned that up to 12 students will tied into this programme and they will under go education and training around the build of the Waka to the seamanship needed to sail it.

The initial funding assistance and sponsorship will be sourced to the total value of $150 000. This will cover the cost of the Waka build, the upgrading of the old fire depot in Horeke and the logistics required to educate 12 students.

Guy Fawkes sparks 60 fireworks call-outs 6.11.14

Fire and Emergency New Zealand responded to 60 firework-related calls across the country last night, yet none caused any significant injuries. Northern

Fire costs drop by $3 million 3.11.14

A new approach to the wildfires that plague the Far North every summer is already paying off, with firefighting costs slashed from more than $3 million to less than $400,000 a year. The new tack involves working with the community to prevent fires instead of just putting them out, and combining the competing groups responsible for rural fires into a single, independent authority. In Northland urban and house fires are fought by the volunteer brigades of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, while scrub and forest fires used to be fought by council-run rural fire parties, the Department of Conservation or forestry companies, depending on where the fire broke out. That led to duplication and confusion.....

Blaze under control; crews stay at scene 3.11.14

The Rural Fire Service will remain at the scene of a massive scrub fire at Woodside, near Outram, that yesterday closed a highway and forced the evacuation of residents. At the fire's peak, dozens of firefighters battled on the ground alongside two diggers and four tankers, while helicopters with monsoon buckets worked to protect properties and fight the fire from the air. But, between 5pm and 6pm, the temperature dropped 10C and more than 2mm of rain fell as a southerly front replaced the strong norwesters that had fanned the flames, and the blaze was brought under control. Fire Service spokeswoman....

Rubbish burnoffs vex fire service 21.10.14

The risk of backyard fires burning out of control is amplified in the lead-up to summer as people underestimate hot, dry winds and low humidity, the rural fire service warns. The huge blaze on the Wither Hills in Blenheim on Sunday was a warning of how quickly fire can spread this time of year, Waimea Rural Fire Authority principal officer Ian Reade said. There have been at least five cases of rubbish burnoffs getting out of control in the Tasman District in the past month in Mapua, Riwaka, Hira, Brightwater and the Coastal Highway.

Wildfires on rise in Far North as rain-sodden land starts to dry out 18.10.14

Fire bosses are stepping up patrols in the Far North as wildfires start breaking out again just weeks after one of the wettest winters on record. Northern principal rural fire officer Myles Taylor said many people believed the fire danger was still low due to the wet winter. "But it's drying out rapidly and we're starting to get break-outs again," he said. On Monday night Rawene firefighters spent almost two hours battling a scrub fire at Waima which was heading towards a house. The cause was....

Rural leader Denis Hazlett dies in scrub fire 16.10.14

The man killed in a controlled scrub burn-off in North Canterbury yesterday has been named by police. Denis Luke Hazlett, 71, had been visiting a high country farm near Waikari, in the Hurunui region. Mr Hazlett, from Ohoka, 20km north of Christchurch, was helping two other men at the farm with a controlled scrub burn-off on a steep gully. Mr Hazlett was a well-respected figure in New Zealand rural circles for more than four decades. In 2001, he retired after 13 years as general manager of agricultural supply business Pyne Gould Guinness to become...

Father, 71, dies in burn-off 15.10.14

Sons of a 71-year-old Ohoka man are "absolutely devastated" after their father died in a controlled scrub burn-off in rural Canterbury this afternoon, police say. Sergeant Colin Stewart, of Kaiapoi, said three men were conducting a controlled burn-off of 30 to 40 hectares of shrub at the high country North Canterbury farm, near Mt Alexander in Hurunui, about 3.40pm when the elderly man became caught up in the fire. He said police found the man, who was visiting a friend who ran the remote farm, in the area of the controlled burn-off about 5pm. They are now working to recover the body. However....

Rapid numbers help emergency services find you 9.10.14

Selwyn District Council is reminding all rural property owners to check they have a rapid number displayed at their driveway entrance. Having a rapid number is essential as it gives every rural property an identifiable address to help identify where you live. Summer is the high-risk season for fires in Selwyn, especially in rural areas, so the council is also encouraging people to ensure their driveways are wide enough to allow emergency vehicles in and out. Four-digit rapid numbers are found on blue plastic posts and....

Call for volunteer firefighters 7.10.14

Many adults dreamed of being firefighters when they were young, and the Hira Rural Fire Force wants to make that come true for at least two new volunteers. Training officer Gordon Cowie said the Hira station needed more volunteers, especially those who could help cover the daytime shifts. "We've only got two during the day most of the time. We really need a crew of five." With about 10 hours of training a new volunteer could....