Callouts steady despite fewer selling fireworks

Despite a lack of retailers selling fireworks in Dunedin, there have been three fireworks-related incidents in Otago this year.

From November 2 to 8, three incidents in the region were reported to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz).

Two — a vegetation fire and a rubbish fire — were in the city, while the other was a vegetation fire in Arrowtown.

This is on par with the number of reports in Otago-Southland last year.

The ODT reported the rubbish fire started when a group of young males aimed fireworks at a pile of rubbish.

Another group of young men in the area shot fireworks at witnesses and police.

Fenz Otago district community risk manager James Knapp was pleased the incidents did not result in any injuries, especially since the rubbish fire was against a structure.

‘‘That could have been a worse outcome,’’ Mr Knapp said.

In general, the majority of the community had done the right thing, apart from the three ‘‘disappointing’’ incidents.

Only one retailer in Otago, in Queenstown, sold fireworks this year, so people in Dunedin had to drive quite a long way to get them, he said.

Anecdotally, people in the community noted they had heard fewer fireworks than usual.

There were 53 reported incidents around New Zealand this year, three more than last year.

‘‘It’s about the same despite having far less availability of fireworks this year, especially locally.’’


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