As you may be aware, the Scion rural fire research team is again attempting to complete the wilding conifer experimental burns on Pukaki Downs Station after postponing them from last autumn. Three weeks from Oct. 19 – Nov. 6 have initially been scheduled, with 2-3 days of suitable weather required to complete the burns. (see attached advert (click here), which will again appear in the Twizel Update newspaper).  As previously, you are again welcome to attend and observe these research burns.

The fire team will proceed with the first of the wilding research burns at Pukaki Downs today 20. Oct.2015 , winds permitting.  All other conditions on site are suitable, with the only issues being wind speeds possibly increasing through the day above our prescribed upper limit (25 km/h), and a bit more westerly direction than we’d currently prefer.  Following suppression set-up and test burns, we hope to light the first plots around 12:30pm.  There will be a full onsite briefing at 11am.

All going well, we may also attempt the remaining plots tomorrow.  However, the forecast is for increasing W/NW winds and late rain, and while the direction is better the forecast strengths (30-40 km/h) would prevent burning.  We may look to start earlier in an effort to avoid this.  However, this is marginal at present.

If you can make it, you are most welcome to attend the burns.  You will need to check-in on site when you arrive at Pukaki Downs (marked with signage on SH80, about 2-3 km on the left up the Mt Cook Highway from the Tekapo-Twizel highway turnoff), and you’ll be directed through to the burn area.

Look forward to seeing some of you there.


Grant Pearce.


H. Grant Pearce

Scientist, Fire Research

Scion (NZ Forest Research Institute Ltd)