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Fireworks campaign planned at Piha

Posted by SC Comments Off on Fireworks campaign planned at Piha

Dampening down the fire from New Years Eve 2009

Piha Residents and Ratepayers plans a campaign to educate locals about the dangers of fireworks. A flyer is under development which will be hand delivered around Piha before New Years Eve. This encourages locals not to let off fireworks and to convey this message to anyone renting their houses over the holidays.

Celebrating with fireworks has become a regular practice with some locals, but according to Fire Chief Ron Gorter, young people also come out from the city to let off fireworks.

Last New Years Eve, a group doing just this at the Lookout above Piha, caused a fire in gorse on the opposite side of the road, which fortunately was accessible to fire crews and quickly put out.

Not so fortunate at New Year’s Eve 2009 when a fire started by flares into the regional park caused a very difficult to access fire which was still being damped down the next day.

Fireworks are banned in all parkland at Piha including beach fronts, but this is not well known.

Fireworks are not banned on private property but this is strongly discouraged as they can easily fall into the bush, which is inevitably dry during the summer. This poses a risk to the forest, property and the lives of firemen who must work, often in the dark, in dangerous places. The fire a few weeks ago was an example of this, as it started off the front of Tasman Lookout at the edge of a precipitous cliff.

This issue has been raised at the AGM of Piha R&R for a couple of years and it has been following up on this. Discussions with Ron Gorter determined that the most effective approach for the R&R would be education of local people and people visiting Piha. For a Western Leader article about locals fears, see below.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/western-leader/6130297/Fireworks-fears

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