The Central App

Wildfire contingency plan a work in progress for Naseby

The Central App

Alexia Anderson

05 July 2024, 5:45 PM

Wildfire contingency plan a work in progress for NasebyFenz advisor risk reduction Otago district Mark Mawhinney talks during a public meeting in Naseby earlier this year. PHOTO: The Central App

A contingency plan to protect Naseby properties from potential wildfire is making progress.

Fire and Emergency NZ (Fenz), along with Naseby Vision, called a public meeting in the town last Easter to provide information so the community could limit the risk and help people prepare.

One hundred people attended the meeting in the Naseby Town Hall, including residents and holidaymakers, keen to learn more and find out how they could assist.

The meeting included information around defensible space, a term used to describe the careful selection, location and maintenance of vegetation and other combustible materials on the property.

It also featured a series of short videos, which showcased the importance of being prepared, particularly when there was risk of embers, which could travel hundreds of metres.

Those who provided their contact details at the meeting have been contacted by Fenz again this week, providing an update and plan going forward.

Fenz advisor risk reduction Otago district Mark Mawhinney said Fenz would continue to help the Naseby community with further wildfire risk reduction.

“You’ll see us around, but we can’t do it without you. An engaged and resilient community is also better prepared to face and recover from any other emergency that may present itself; earthquake, storm event [etc].”

Mark said how Fenz works with the Naseby community was something it needed to discuss further with its residents.

“To start, we would like to establish a small group who would represent the Naseby community. This group would regularly meet with us to develop a plan and help deliver good achievable outcomes for the wider community,” he said.

“We know that if we don’t get good engagement from the community, we don’t get good outcomes.”

Fenz has already had interest from members of the community, and the opportunity was still open for others to share their thoughts or who want to be part of the group.

“Those with an interest please get in touch by the end of July. We are looking to develop a bespoke plan for Naseby that could be started before the next wildfire season.”

Fenz’s community risk management team also plans to work with the community by helping with smoke alarms, fire appliance access into properties in the event of a house fire, water supplies for firefighting operations, along with Firewise and Fire Smart programmes.

The Naseby meeting was recorded, which can be viewed online through Naseby Vision Inc.

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