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Fire and Emergency urges people not to let off fireworks this summer

Dec 28, 2023

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is urging people to not set off fireworks this New Year's Eve and over the summer.

Its community education manager, Adrian Nacey, said in recent years he had seen people buy fireworks at Guy Fawkes and store them away to light over the summer months.

"Last year, we were called to several fires over the New Year period started from fireworks, and this year our appeal to the public is do not set off any fireworks."

Large vegetation fires at Pegasus Beach and Te Mata Peak last year were caused by fireworks and resulted in communities being evacuated and thousands of native trees destroyed.

Earlier this month, crews fought fires near Lake Dunstan in Central Otago that were also caused by fireworks.

"New Year's Eve and the summer months is not the time to be setting off fireworks - particularly with the approaching El Niño weather conditions that are forecast to bring hotter, drier, and windier conditions in many parts of Aotearoa New Zealand," said Nacey.

"There may also be restrictions on the use of fireworks in your area during summer, so it's important to check for current bans, the fire season, and the fire danger.

"If you want to bring in the New Year with a bang, we recommend attending public fireworks displays where possible.

"It's easy to do your part to keep your community safe over the holidays."

The warning comes just 12 months after a Dalefield fire near Queenstown, ignited by a private fireworks party, caused widespread disruption on New Years Eve.

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