Looks like we have endured yet another fairly hectic year as far as the Lake Okareka Rural Fire goes. We are now integrated with Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) and are seeing some improvements in not only training but also the structure and resourcing of the organisation.
After some six months, we have our Lake Okareka fire appliance back at the station following an extensive decontamination process as a result of the Ngongotaha floods, and now painted in FENZ rural fire colours. We also now have some IT capabilities in the station. It’s a pity there’s now less room for our members – we are so looking forward to the new station. In terms of an update on progress with the new station build project, plans are now going through the resource consent process with the Rotorua Lakes Council.
Extreme conditions: California Mendocino fire approaching our safe zone
On another note, we have another team of seven fire fighters from Lake Okareka, ranging from 17 years to a ‘mature-I-can’t-quite-remember’ age, who have registered to compete in the annual Sky Tower Firefighter Stair Climb in May next year. The team will be getting underway with training for this event over the coming months, along with fundraising for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand. If you would to support the Lake Okareka Rural Fire team fundraising effort, please go to the www.firefightersclimb.org.nz website and donate online. We wish the community all the best for the upcoming festive season and look forward to seeing you at the Lake Okareka Christmas Carols and Nativity Show.
Lastly, just a reminder we are now in the Restricted Fire Season and any open fires must 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.
If you have been thinking about joining and would like to see what we are about, please come down to the fire station at 7:30pm on a Wednesday night when we do training or phone me on 3628874. You can also go to our website: www.okarekaruralfire.com.
Chief Fire Officer