Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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Smoky fires draw complaints

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Orchardists around Aongatete are copping it from the regional council because of ‘smoky’ burn offs last week.

“On Monday afternoon alone, we observed six fires emitting thick smoke in the Aongatete area,” says Bay of Plenty Regional Council regulatory compliance team leader Alex Miller.

“Together these outdoor fires can have a big impact on air quality, particularly for the local area.

“Where possible, mulching and composting is a much better solution for green waste, and also has the benefit of helping to retain soil moisture, feed plants and make good use of a waste product.”

People complained to the regional council pollution hotline last week. Since May 1 and the beginning of the winter fire season, permits are no longer required for outdoor burn offs

Smoky outdoor fires brought in a significant number of complaints to the Regional Councils Pollution Hotline last week, despite the winter fire Season having only just opened.

The complaints so far mostly relate to horticultural properties burning green waste that is not sufficiently dry, says Alex.

“People having outdoor fires need to be considerate of others and use their common sense. Although outdoor fires and burn-offs are permitted during the winter months, some simple rules still apply in order to minimise the impacts on both your neighbours and the environment.

“An excessively smoky fire is a sign you are not burning material correctly, which results in air pollution, and can potentially endanger health,” says Alex.

To avoid creating smoky fires:

  • Only burn dry untreated wood
  • Try to let your neighbours know in advance
  • Check weather conditions, especially wind direction
  • Have a means to control the fire

Do not:

  • Burn wet or treated wood
  • Burn plastics, rubbish, household/construction/demolition waste or tyres
  • Light fires in strong winds

Different rules apply for residential areas to rural areas; if in doubt, visit your local councils website for more information on what you’re allowed to burn and when.

The Restricted Fire Season for Bay of Plenty runs from October 1 through to April 30; during this period rural property owners need a fire permit to burn any open air fire. From May 1 until the end of September they are allowed to burn some items in a controlled environment.

Comments on SunLive

That old saying......!

Posted on 21-05-2017 13:00 | By Papamoaner

Some people would moan if their arse was on fire

Posted on 08-05-2017 18:54 | By overit

Is burning off that necessary? We use a mulcher and reuse the vegetation.
Fire lighters need to show respect BUT ...

Posted on 08-05-2017 16:36 | By Murray.Guy

Fire lighters need to show respect BUT ... mostly, complainants also need to show restraint! these are rural and rural / residential areas and for many the burn off is considered a necessity of rural management. Unfortunately the rural areas get infiltrated by self serving life-style types that have little or no respect for the environment they have chosen to move in to. We now live in an age that had folk pushing the buttons 111, or the complaints hotline at the slightest evidence of smoke, and frankly, some need to be told .....
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