Fireworks bans spark up around country for summer

6:46 pm on 21 December 2022
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Temporary fireworks bans have been declared in several regions. Photo: 123rf

Fireworks have been banned in more areas around the country as part of efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire over summer.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) have issued temporary fireworks bans in the Karikari Peninsula, Ahipara township, the Mackenzie Basin and the Otago District prohibited fire zones.

Coromandel and Upper Waitakai bans were also announced previously.

FENZ wildfire specialist Graeme Still said the long, dry grasses in those areas around this time of year could ignite easily, and fireworks had caused a large number of fires over the years.

"We've had a wet and warm spring and early summer this year so there's been a lot of grass growth, and the forecast is saying that will dry out shortly. When it will the fire danger level increases."

Still said the high level of fire danger unfortunately coincided with the time around New Year's Eve where people used more fireworks.

He said the massive fire at Pegasus Beach last month, which was caused by a firework being let off, showed how risky they could be.

"That cost a lot of money to put out, it damaged a lot of coastal vegetation, and threatened homes and structures.

"That's what fireworks can do, especially on a windy day. It just takes a spark to start a wildfire."

Still encouraged people to go to managed public fireworks displays over the summer period, where work had gone into making the area safe, rather than letting them off themselves.

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