Fire crews were kept on their toes in the Bay of Plenty last night with numerous firework-related fires and damage.

A Fire and Emergency NZ spokesman said there were 16 firework-related callouts in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato areas, with a large majority of these falling in the Bay.

Fire crews spent close to two hours at the scene of a large bonfire in Ngongotahā that burnt slightly out of control.

The spokesman said two fire trucks and a tanker attended the scene on Keith Rd about 3.30am. There were no injuries.


Many of the firework-related call-outs were centred in the Tauranga area, with small vegetation fires reported in Welcome Bay, Bethlehem and Pāpāmoa.

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'The flames were 10-feet high': Fire in Government Gardens in Rotorua
'We're on tenterhooks': High alert for fire crews ahead of Guy Fawkes

Lake Okareka Rural Fire Force chief fire officer Phil Muldoon told the Rotorua Daily Post yesterday that his crew had not had a Guy Fawkes callout for about six years, but the dry conditions had them "on tenterhooks".

The crew was called to reports of a small vegetation fire about 8.10pm, according the Fire and Emergency NZ incident reports.

The team spent about half an hour at the scene.

Earlier in the day, Rotorua crews had battled a 20 by 30-metre tree and bush fire in the Government Gardens about 4.30pm.

There were seven Fire and Emergency New Zealand trucks in attendance over the course of the fire and by 7pm it was extinguished.

A witness said the flames were 10-feet high at one point.


Trees and shrubs were burnt in the fire and assistant area commander Brendon Grylls said an approximately 40sq m section was affected in total.

"It could be a sulphur fire and that's why we've got crews with breathing apparatus," he told the Rotorua Daily Post at the scene.