Fireworks ban in Mackenzie Basin

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Fireworks ban in Mackenzie Basin

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has banned the use of fireworks in the Mackenzie Basin for the summer.

The ban comes into effect at 6pm 24 December and runs through until 31 March 2021.

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

The prohibition order includes Omarama, but not Otematata and covers the rest of the Mackenzie Basin to the north.

Acting Principal Rural Fire Officer Don Geddes says the area has already had two major fires at Lakes Pukaki and Ōhau this season.

"We have very dry conditions around the Mackenzie Basin and the recent fires showed how quickly fire can spread in this area," Don Geddes says.

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

"We know there will be a lot of visitors to the Mackenzie and we want to reduce as many fire risks as possible. Banning fireworks is part of our local risk reduction strategy.

"We urge people to think carefully about fire safety this summer."

Most the Mackenzie Basin is in restricted fire season, while the southern end is in a prohibited season. For exact fire season status locations, visit www.checkitsalright.nz