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Fireworks ban before Guy Fawkes

Celebrating Guy Fawkes with a bang has been banned in parts of Otago.

Otago Fire and Emergency District Manager Phil Marsh said fireworks are now banned in high fire risk areas.

The ban, which precedes Guy Fawkes celebrations on Saturday, will remain in effect as long as the specified areas are part of the Otago Fire Prohibited Zone.

The fireworks ban includes the following areas: Mount Iron, Albert Town Recreation Reserve, Queenstown Red Zone, Shag Point, Bucklands Crossing, Ruby Island, Stevensons Island, Mou Waho, Mou Tapu, Pig Island/Mātau, Pigeon Island/Wāwāhi Waka and Coronet Forest.

“Banning fireworks in these areas will help us reduce the risk of wildfires during the summer,” he said.

“Some of these areas include family homes, and many have significant wildlife. We all need to take responsibility for reducing the risk of nuisance fires.

“A misplaced firework could cause a disaster, so we ask people not to use fireworks in these areas and to be very careful with fire and fireworks if they live or spend their vacations near these places.”

The restraining order was put in place under section 52 of the Fires and Emergencies Act. It allows fire and emergency services to prohibit or restrict certain activities, such as the use of fireworks.

Last summer, fireworks were banned throughout the Otago district from December 22, 2021 to April 1, 2022. This ban targets areas where the risk of fire starting and spreading is highest, as outlined in the Otago Fire Plan.

“Go to checkitsalright.nz to see if it is safe to do your activity and advice on how to do it safely. You can quickly find out if any restrictions are in place and apply for a free fire permit, which, if needed, may take up to ten days to process.The MetService app also has quick links to fire season information.