Vigilance needed as fire risk spikes

The Hurunui district is in a prohibited fire season - aka a total fire ban and we are urging residents and visitors to the district to be vigilant as most of the region climbs into extreme fire danger.
Our firefighters are very stretched - being involved currently with the Lewis Pass fire response, and many were also called to action with the Port Hills fire as well.
The drying winds over the last few weeks haven't helped, so it won't take much to ignite - and if this happens it will be very hard to control.
Please check any 'controlled burns' lit in recent weeks and ensure they are 100% out - these can smoulder for weeks and even months. In the current hot and windy conditions, anything smouldering is likely to reignite. Please, please double-check.
Please also check trailer couplings etc for dangling chains and the like that could cause sparks as they drag along the road.
Is your mower, quad bike or off-road bike is fitted with a spark arrester? Hot engines and dry grass are not a good combination. We recommend having wet sacks and/or buckets of water handy when operating machinery in these risky areas.
Members of the public should not hesitate to report any fires or signs of smoke. As soon as you see any smoke, dial 111 - not the council. No-one should be burning - that's just common sense, so any smoke needs to be called in urgently.