Firefighters face off against fireworks
Throughout Saturday, firefighters battled between seven and 10 fires caused by fireworks across the South Island. In Christchurch, a 10-by10-metre scrub fire in Humphreys Drive, Ferrymead, was caused by fireworks about 9pm. Crews were working to extinguish the blaze. Emergency services were called to a ‘‘large’’ fire on State Highway 8 at the Phar Lap Raceway near Timaru about 8.20pm, a Fire and Emergency NZ spokesperson said. That, too, had been started by fireworks. By 11pm the fire was out. Fireworks were also suspected to have started a scrub fire in Coopers Beach in the Far North. A ‘‘few hundred’’ homes were without power in Auckland’s Henderson Valley after fireworks hit high-voltage power lines shortly before 10pm, a Vector spokesman said. Crews were on site to ensure the area was safe before power could be restored. In Pukekohe, south of Auckland, a hotly contested private fireworks display by ITM – sponsors of the V8 Supercars event –went ahead despite protestations from local horse owners and trainers.