It is hard to believe we are at the tail-end of 2020 after what has proven to be a challenging and disruptive year. Lake Ōkāreka Rural Fire has largely had to scale back its training activities this year due to the fluctuating COVID-19 levels. However, with the recent move back to Level 1, operational activities have resumed with a record number of members, including a good number of new young recruits who joined at the beginning of the year. Fortunately, their enthusiasm has remained despite the restrictions and we are now getting training back on track heading into the summer fire season.
On that note, please be aware that, as of 1 October, we have moved into the Restricted Fire Season which requires open fires to be permitted. Please be vigilant over the summer months with fire restrictions and permits, and check the conditions and any restrictions in force on the day of your permitted burn. To check the season status for your location, please visit www.checkitsalright.nz or call 0800 658 628. Further information about fire seasons is available on www.fireandemergency.nz.
New station with exterior finished.
Interior of appliance bay
Recent scrub fire SH30. Photo Credit: Dave Herries
Work on the new fire station has progressed significantly with completion of the building and hand over to the brigade due to take place mid-December. An Open Day for the community is being planned for 30 January and the official opening ceremony will take place mid-March. Communications regarding the Open Day will be sent out closer to the time. If there are any community groups who are interested in using the new station building for a meeting venue, please contact me on 021 890 508.
In the meantime, we wish the families within the Lake Ōkāreka and wider Rotorua community all the best for the upcoming festive season.
If you have been thinking about joining and would like to see what we are about, please phone me on 362 8874. You can also go to our website: www.okarekaruralfire.co.nz.
Chief Fire Officer