20 Dec 2022

Restricted fire season begins in Coromandel, private fireworks banned also

5:34 pm on 20 December 2022
no caption

The decision aims to reduce the risk of fires getting out of control in hotter drier weather. Photo: 123rf

Fire and Emergency is declaring a restricted fire season for the Coromandel from today.

The restriction will end in February and aims to reduce the risk of fires getting out of control, with an expected influx of holidaymakers.

FENZ district manager Daryl Trim said the change in season would cover the Thames-Coromandel Council boundaries as well as islands off the mainland.

No open-air fires can be lit in those areas without a fire permit.

A ban on the use of private fireworks within the area was also in effect.

It did not affect already planned and approved public fireworks displays, Trim said.

"While we understand visitors and locals want to celebrate the holidays and the New Year with a bang, fireworks can start devastating fires.

"We ask anyone heading to Thames-Coromandel for the holidays and permanent residents to keep their fireworks stored at home until the ban is lifted."

Temporary fireworks ban in Upper Waitaki

A temporary ban on letting off fireworks in Upper Waitaki came into effect on Tuesday as part of efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire over the summer.

Fire and Emergency district manager Phil Marsh said wildfire was a year-round hazard in the area and the risk increased over summer as vegetation dried out, temperatures rose and winds were warmer. More visitors also created further risk.

"Memories of the devastating fire at Lake Ōhau in 2020 are still fresh in our minds, and the locals understand the risk very well," Marsh said.

"It only takes one spark to start a wildfire. That's why we are asking people to leave their fireworks at home if they're visiting the Upper Waitaki this summer."

Anyone wanting to light a fire can check [www.checkitsalright.nz here] or call 0800 658 628 to see if there are any restrictions.

A temporary fireworks ban is already in place for the Mackenzie Basin, which is covered by Fire and Emergency's Mid South Canterbury District.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs