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Fireworks ban imperative


Fireworks ban imperative

October 27, 2006

Given recent high winds over parts of New Zealand and the resulting drying of vegetation many Rural fire authorities are bracing themselves for what could be the worst Guy Fawkes fire season in five years.

The National Rural Fire Advisory Committee says the only solution to avoid unnecessary fires at this time of year is a ban on retail sales of fireworks and the promotion of public fireworks displays.

The committee comprises the Department of Conservation, local government, Federated Farmers, New Zealand Defence, forest owners, the National Rural Fire Authority and the New Zealand Fire Service.

National Rural Fire Officer Murray Dudfield, who chairs the advisory committee, said indications from weather monitoring stations for this time of the year were that this was the driest and windiest season for five years, which increased the exposure of fireworks-related fires markedly.

Mr Dudfield said the conditions were such that any improperly used firework had the potential to cause problems. “The fuel from the dry conditions is such that we have the potential for the biggest fireworks-fuelled fires we’ve seen in five years.”

He said the committee had reconfirmed its call for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the general public after an unacceptable number of irresponsible incidents involving fireworks last year.

ENDS

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