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An Open Fire Season has been declared for Tararua District and Central Hawke’s Bay from Tuesday morning (1st March).

Fire & Emergency NZ District Manager Ken Cooper said the areas, as well as Rural Hastings, the Wairoa Coastal Strip and Mahia Peninsula, have moved back to an open season because of the current weather conditions.

He said moving back to an open fire season means anyone wanting to light an open-air fire will no longer need a permit.

Mr Cooper said recent rainfall and higher humidity from the easterly winds have lowered the danger.

Mr Cooper stressed that while a permit isn’t needed anymore, people should still take care when lighting an outdoor fire.

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It was another record day for COVID-19 cases in Hawke’s Bay yesterday, with 138 recorded.

Central Hawke’s Bay recorded seven new cases in yesterday’s numbers, giving the district 28 active cases.

The Tararua District currently has 32 active cases of COVID-19.

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The COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Coronation Park in Waipawa will open extended hours from this week.

The clinic will continue to run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but will open until 6pm.

3pm until 6pm will also be a dedicated time for children aged 5 to 11 to get vaccinated.

Walk-ins will be welcome at the clinic, or bookings can be made by visiting www.bookmyvaccine.nz.

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The annual CHB Lions Bookarama has been pushed out to mid-June because of COVID-19.

The event is normally held in mid-April at the CHB Municipal Theatre in Waipawa.

Donations of books, toys and puzzles can be left at 100% Winloves Waipukurau and Tim Chote Appliances Waipawa.

Donations can also be collected by phoning Graeme Black on 8585426.