Fireworks cause major damage at Bay
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.
Timaru District Council community services manager Sharon Taylor says the estimated cost of the damage is about $7500.