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Fireworks And Sky Lanterns Banned In Wellington District

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is banning the use of fireworks and sky lanterns for the Wellington District, including the Wairarapa, until further notice.

The ban includes Wellington, Porirua, the Hutt Valley, the Kapiti Coast and the Wairarapa. It will come into effect from 8am Friday 9 February.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has imposed the ban under Section 52 of the Fire and Emergency Act which allows Fire and Emergency to restrict activities that may start or cause the spread of fire.

Wellington District Community Risk Manager Phil Soal says fire danger risk in the Wellington District has escalated.

"We have experienced a hot, windy, and dry summer which has dried out vegetation and this weather is forecast to continue for the coming weeks.

"Current weather conditions mean if a vegetation fire was to start, it would be difficult to manage."

Phil Soal says Saturday 10 February is Lunar New Year and the potential use of fireworks and sky lanterns is too risky.

"We are encouraging people to celebrate safely without fireworks or sky lanterns," he says. "All it takes to start a large fire is a small spark."

Phil Soal encourages people to instead attend public events in the area.

"Pyrotechnics are not part of the ban as these are permitted activities with strict control measures and safety plans."

Phil Soal says it is important that people remain vigilant.

"Activities such as mowing, operating machinery, cutting, or welding steel can be hazardous and should be carried out during cooler parts of the day.

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"Always call 111 straight away if you see signs of a fire - particularly in a rural area. Please don’t assume someone else will have done that. The sooner our crews are called out, the more chance we have of containing a fire quickly and limiting the damage.

"If you’re in any doubt whether it’s OK to light an outdoor fire anywhere, please go to www.checkitsalright.nz - there is a lot of safety advice there too."

Currently fireworks bans are in place in Ahipara township and surrounds, Karikari Peninsula, Ripiro Beach, Mackenzie Basin, Central Otago, Naseby, Upper Waitaki, Lake Ōhau, Otago Lakes and Glendhu Bluffs, Canterbury, Kaikōura, Wellington, Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. Note restrictions may be added in additional locations as the fire risk changes, you can stay up to date with current restrictions by visiting www.checkitsalright.nz.

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