Revellers urged not see in the new year with fireworks in dry South Island

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South Island revellers are being warned not not to see in the new year with fireworks tonight.

New Year's Eve bonfires and fireworks should be left to the experts, authorities say.
Source: 1 NEWS

Vegetation is very dry in the area from the top of the South Island to South Canterbury, Fire and Emergency's Richard McNamara says.

He expects winds will pick up later today from Marlborough down to eastern Christchurch, saying there's currently westerly winds in Blenheim.

"Please leave the fireworks in the cupboard. Public displays are great," he said.

Mr McNamara said firework sparks can ignite fires and injure people.

Last year, 518 claims for fireworks-related injuries were lodged with ACC.

He also said bonfires can easily get out of control, especially when it’s windy and those responsible are drinking alcohol.

"Just be careful. Insurance companies will come after you for recovering costs of property loss," he said.

Boat flares are also responsible for fires over the festive period, Mr McNamara said.

There are fire restrictions in place across most of the country, with total bans likely.
Source: 1 NEWS

Fire and Emergency NZ have dealt with a number of fires from flares being used outside of their distress signal purpose in the past.

Parachute-type flares can burn for up to three minutes.

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