Temporary fireworks ban in the Mackenzie Basin over summer

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Temporary fireworks ban in the Mackenzie Basin over summer

A temporary fireworks ban covering the Mackenzie Basin will come into effect on Wednesday 15 December as part of efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire over the summer.

This is the second year that Fire and Emergency NZ has used Section 52 of the Fire and Emergency Act to prevent people letting off fireworks in the area, following the devastating wildfires at Lake Pukaki and Lake Ōhau last year.

The District Manager for Mid-South Canterbury, Rob Hands, says that while the countryside was still comparatively green, locals understood how quickly conditions could change given a few warm and windy days.

"We are putting this measure in place now so that we have a consistent approach all summer. People will see signage being installed over the next few days and we will be putting up posters in campgrounds, shops and iSites around the district."

Wildfire is an ever-present hazard in the Mackenzie District because of its dry and windy climate, the natural vegetation and its topography.

Wildfires can be started by natural causes such as lightning, or by human activities - both accidental and deliberate. 

"The fires at Lake Pukaki and Lake Ōhau reminded us all how quickly a fire can spread and how devastating the consequences can be," Mr Hands says. 

 "It only takes one spark to start a wildfire. That’s why we are once again asking people to leave their fireworks at home if they’re visiting the Mackenzie Basin this summer."

The temporary ban will be in place until the end of March 2022.

Map of area covered by the Mackenzie fireworks ban.