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Fireworks Banned Around Christchurch

Fire and Emergency is banning the use of fireworks in a number of locations around Christchurch. The ban will include Akaroa, Bottle Lake and the Port Hills.

The ban is effective from 6pm this evening (16 December).

Overnight on Friday there was a significant fire above Hillsborough which burnt through 25 hectares and caused around 40 homes to be evacuated.

Fire and Emergency can now confirm the blaze was caused by fireworks late on Friday night.

As a result, and with conditions drying out around Christchurch, Area Commander Dave Stackhouse is banning the use of fireworks under Section 52 of the Fire and Emergency Act.

Section 52 of the Act allows Fire and Emergency to restrict activities that may start or cause the spread of fire.

"These are all high risk areas," Mr Stackhouse says, " and what we saw on Friday night was completely unnecessary and avoidable."

"In Christchurch, we are seeing temperatures peak in the high 20s and low 30s. Ground conditions are dry, and a spark can quickly turn into a dangerous fire.

"Using fireworks should be completely out of the question, and we will take a very dim view of anyone who is found to be using them while this ban is in place.

"We are asking residents living around the Port Hills, Bottle Lake and Akaroa to keep an eye out for fireworks or other suspicious activity. If you see anything suspicious call 111.

"The public are our eyes and ears and with its help, we can quickly respond and get to fires before they become too difficult to contain," Mr Stackhouse says.

With the whole of Canterbury moving into a restricted fire season from 11.59pm tonight, Fire and Emergency wants everyone to consider the fire risks before undertaking any spark generating activities.

"In extreme conditions it only takes a spark to start a devastating wildfire. That spark can come from a campfire, a gas cooker, a charcoal barbeque or a vehicle exhaust," Mr Stackhouse says.

"We saw from yesterday’s fire at Redcliffs that a spark from a grinding tool can start a fire that can quickly spread and endanger homes."

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