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Vehicle ban in Auckland forest park due to fire risk

Published: 7:57PM Thursday January 31, 2013 Source: ONE News

An off-road vehicle ban has been implemented in an Auckland forest park as the fire risk in the region remains high.

Auckland's fire service was stretched to its limit yesterday when a number of scrub fires broke out across the city.

A total fire ban remains in place for the region as the hot, dry spell of weather increases the chances of a more bush fires flaring up.

Today Auckland Council announced a ban on all recreational off-road motorised vehicles in Woodhill Forest, effective from tomorrow.

Quad bikes, dirt bikes and 4WD vehicles are all included in the ban.

A number of public right of ways will also close tomorrow, in keeping with the ban. These are Trig Road to the Waionui inlet, Rimmers Road to the 10 Mile car park, and Beach end of Wilson Road.

Principal rural fire officer, Bryan Cartelle, said the ban is necessary because of the forecasted dry, hot weather conditions on top of the already elevated fire danger.

"We ask that locals and visitors leave their off-road vehicles at home until the fire danger is no longer elevated and the closure has been lifted by the fire authority," he said.

"Visitors can still enjoy walking, mountain-biking or horse riding through the forest on the formal tracks during the ban."

The Woodhill Equestrian Park, Woodhill Mountain Bike Park, and Tree Adventures are not affected by the ban.