Saturday, April 13, 2024

Wellington reserve gate closed due to fire risk

Tinder-dry conditions on Wellington’s south coast mean the Owhiro Bay gate to Te Kopahau Reserve and Pariwhero Red Rocks will be closed to motor vehicles from 12 midday this Friday 23 February until further notice, Wellington City Council has announced.

Council Parks, Sport and Recreation Manager, Paul Andrews says there is a high risk of wildfires in the area – especially if hot vehicle exhaust pipes come into contact with dry grass/scrub or if people light open fires. 

“Fire and Emergency New Zealand supports the temporary vehicle closure; the area is extremely rugged and difficult to access for emergency services, we want to be proactive to minimise the risk of any fire being started,” said Mr Andrews.

The area west of the Te Kopahou Reserve Visitors Centre carpark gate will still be accessible to other recreational users including walkers, cyclists and people on horseback. No fires are permitted in the area. 

Mr Andrews says the decision to close the gate follows recent decisions by Greater Wellington Regional Council to close some of their regional parks to the public and restrict vehicle access.

“It’s dry as hell out there now – we need to reduce the fire risk until we get some decent rain.” 

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