A big thank you to my members for their commitment over the summer months, as we have been rather busy with 17 call-outs since the New Year. For example, one week at the end of February saw the Lake Okareka Fire Force at Waikite Valley on Saturday afternoon, the lakefront on Saturday evening, Wai-kite Valley (a different fire) Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday, training on Wednesday night, Thursday night the Youth in Emergency Services pro-gramme, Friday morning yet another fire at Waikite Valley and a local call-out on Friday afternoon. Some of these fires have been long in duration and have also required aerial assistance. It was nice to have a quite weekend.
Each year, recently, seems to have an increase in fire activity. This highlights the need for a large membership base as the call-outs can be quite demanding, and more members ensures we can spread the workload not only during the day but on weekends and evenings as well. We do not operate on a roster system but rely on having sufficient members to ensure we have the numbers when called-out. This has worked for 30+ years as we have never missed a call-out. We have also recently lost a number of our younger members (temporarily) as they once again head out of town to university for the year. If you have thought about joining the Rural Fire Force volunteers then now would be a good time as the winter months provide ample opportunity for preseason fire training.
Please continue to take note of the fire danger signage on Tarawera Road as this provides a good indication of fire conditions and don’t forget that fire permits are still required for any fires outside.
For anyone wanting to contact the Fire Force, please phone me on 362 8874 or go to our website: www.okarekaruralfire.com.
Chief Fire Officer