Background information

In the summer of 2003/04 drought conditions and persistent moisture deficits in some parts of inland Canterbury pushed the region's fire danger to extreme levels. Forecast weather conditions show no real relief in sight for several weeks.

In preparation to meet the demands of these extraordinary conditions, the regional rural fire committee asked the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Headquarters to open the region's emergency operations centre (EOC) on Thursday, 7 January 2004, to maintain a "watching brief" until the danger passed. The centre was staffed by rural fire managers to oversee interagency response to fire emergencies.

The rural fire committee has created this website to keep you informed about rural fire threats and countermeasures. The links on this page take you to information about the current state of planning and preparedness, provide an overview of emergency response commitments and offer helpful advice on prevention and preparedness measures you can take to help reduce the region's fire risk.