Fire­works cause ma­jor dam­age at Bay

South Canterbury Herald - - TEMUKA NEWS - ME­GAN SUTHER­LAND

The cost of re­pair­ing dam­age caused by a large fire started by fire­works at Ti­maru’s Caro­line Bay is ex­pected to run well into the thou­sands of dol­lars with plants, bol­lards and rope, which line board­walks in the area, all burnt.

Fire Ser­vice Mid-South Can­ter­bury as­sis­tant area man­ager Steven Greenyer con­firmed the fire, which was re­ported about 9pm on Sun­day, had been started by fire­works.

Greenyer said the fire, which burnt about 4000 square me­tres of dune area, was the ‘‘main’’ call­out for crews in the re­gion dur­ing Guy Fawkes night fes­tiv­i­ties.

Ti­maru senior sta­tion of­fi­cer Lex Fer­gu­son said the in­ci­dent was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated and po­lice were fol­low­ing pos­si­ble leads.

Fer­gu­son said any­one with in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to the in­ci­dent should con­tact Ti­maru po­lice.

Ti­maru District Coun­cil com­mu­nity ser­vices man­ager Sharon Tay­lor said while any fire would have been ‘‘dis­ap­point­ing’’, the in­ci­dent on Sun­day was es­pe­cially con­cern­ing.

‘‘The wind was par­tic­u­larly high at the time,’’ Tay­lor said.

The fire had dam­aged a large sec­tion of the dune area.

Tay­lor said the coun­cil was still as­sess­ing the full ex­tent of the dam­age but es­ti­mated there had been about $7500 worth of dam­age.

This in­cluded the cost of re­plac­ing bol­lards, ad­join­ing rope, plants and the labour that would be re­quired to re­plant and re­pair the area, she said.

The de­vel­op­ment of the dunes and board­walk started about 10 years ago, with ad­di­tional dune plant­ing done each win­ter to im­prove the mix of veg­e­ta­tion in the area, she said.

A coun­cil by­law pro­hibits the use of fire­works in pub­lic places such as parks, with­out prior per­mis­sion, she said.

Caro­line Bay As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent War­ren Barker de­scribed the in­ci­dent as‘‘very fool­ish’’.

‘‘It’s dis­ap­point­ing, as the coun­cil has put a lot of money into beau­ti­fy­ing the place.’’

It was a ‘‘god send’’ that no-one had been in­jured in the in­ci­dent, he said.

‘‘There could have been peo­ple on the beach.’’

Barker hoped the per­son re­spon­si­ble would come for­ward and ‘‘foot the bill’’ as it was not fair on ratepay­ers.

MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/STUFF

Ti­maru District Coun­cil com­mu­nity ser­vices man­ager Sharon Tay­lor says the es­ti­mated cost of the dam­age is about $7500.

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