Date: 14 February 2017
Kuripapango campsite, Mangatutu campsite, Te Puia Lodge and Robson’s Lodge will all be closed from today until further notice.
These sites have been chosen because they are a higher fire risk than other areas due to the presence of fuel (large quantity of dead trees from the previous year’s storm) and limited fire escape routes.
DOC Rural Fire Officer Malcolm Lock says these are the driest conditions most staff here have seen in their time in the Hawke's Bay.
“We need to take into consideration the risk to our neighbours, farmers, landowners and forestry companies if a fire starts at any of these high use sites on public conservation land.”
DOC reminds the public that there is a total fire ban in place across the entire district. It is illegal to light any fires, including the use of open flame cookers or barbeques. Avoid parking in long dry grass where hot tail pipes and exhausts could be a risk.
See alerts for updates.
Hastings District Council yesterday declared a state of emergency as rural and urban fire crews battled several fires, with one house razed and several more threatened.
The Hawke's Bay is currently experiencing extremely dry weather conditions with high temperatures and strong, unpredictable winds.
Forecasted rain for later in the week may ease the situation at which time the department will re-evaluate use at these sites.
DOC maintains fire teams across the country to manage fires on public land and often provide support to rural fire units when needed.