Media advisory #23 Bin the backyard fire for now


16 April 2020


Whanganui Fire and Emergency is seeing an increase in call-outs to backyard rubbish fires since the nationwide COVID-19 Alert Level Four lockdown began on 25 March 2020.

Whanganui Fire and Emergency Assistant Area Commander, Shane Dudley, says, “We are getting a similar number of smoke-nuisance calls to what we get over the traditional holiday breaks.

“Under Alert Level Four people have more time at home to tackle jobs around the house and garden which, combined with a temporary reduction of recycling and green waste disposal services, is leading them to burn rubbish and garden waste in their backyards.

“We have to investigate every report of smoke, and attending nuisance backyard fires puts fire crews at unnecessary risk during the time when they are required to limit contact with the public during COVID-19 Alert Level Four,” Shane Dudley says.

“Please rethink plans to burn greenwaste and rubbish in your backyard – save it until you can dispose of it through your usual recycling and greenwaste services.”

Shane Dudley says the district’s residents can be confident that Fire and Emergency is well-prepared and ready to respond to emergencies as usual during the nationwide COVID-19 Alert Level 4lockdown.

"You can help us by doing your bit to minimise the risk of fire and the number of avoidable call-outs for our fire crews.”