For Fawkes’ sake stay safe: fireys

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A top firey is urging locals to refrain from numpty behaviour when handling fireworks.

Queenstown’s fire safety officer Stu Ide’s call comes ahead of Guy Fawkes night tonight.

The fire service is concerned folk may light fires or fireworks in the banned red zone which includes parts of Arthurs Point, Fernhill and Glenorchy.

“People who live in those areas are very aware of the dangers in and around that mountainous region – steep bluffs with trees. Once a fire establishes itself it is particularly difficult to put out.”

While most stick to the rules he reckons there are muppets who ignore safety warnings.

“It is the young ones who get hold of fireworks and start letting them off in a reckless disregard. It is about being responsible. You get the clowns out there that do something stupid – that is what causes problems.”

Ide says it isn’t rocket science.

If it is a howler of a night with strong winds rethink options.

If you are in a red zone – don’t spark up.

If you are on the booze – reconsider setting anything off.

Leave dud fireworks alone – trying to re-light them is unsafe.

And keep a bucket of water or hose handy.

Fireworks went on sale yesterday and can only be bought by those over 18.

“You only have that brief opportunity to get them. That tends to limit the silly things that can happen. If we have, as has happened in the past, a long period of sales you end up with clowns getting them; setting them off all over the place and doing stupid things with them.”

Local fire volunteers will be responding to all reports of fireworks within red zones. Ide urges locals to phone straight away if they are concerned.

Ideally folk will head along to an organised display where safety is paramount.

Arrowtown Volunteer Fire Brigade is hosting one on Nairn Street tonight.

Chief Murray Forward says about 2000 people usually rock up to the event described as a fun community affair.

More information on fire restrictions can be found on Queenstown’s council website.

louises@scene.co.nz