Boy racers sparked Port Hills fire

04:43, Dec 25 2013
Chopper with monsoon bucket
WATER RESCUE: Choppers carrying monsoon buckets tackled the blaze.

A large scrub fire on the Lyttelton side of Godley Head was started by boy racers letting off fireworks, the fire service believes.

The fire, which covered about six hectares of tussock, started early yesterday morning and was reported by a caretaker at 7am.

The fire was controlled during the day but flared up again, prompting the fire service to call in monsoon buckets late yesterday.

Smoke over Godley Head
SMOKE: Thick smoke above Godley Head can be seen from Taylors Mistake.

A Fire Service spokesman boy racers letting off fireworks had apparently started the fire on Department of Conservation land above Mechanics Bay, an area of "unstable terrain".

DOC was "very disappointed" that the fire appeared to have been started by fireworks, he said.

"It has put firefighters in extremely dangerous positions."

Mechanics Bay fire
TUSSOCK BLAZE: The Mechanics Bay fire spread across 6 hectares.

Firefighters would remain at the scene today to dampen down hotspots.

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Mechanics Bay fire
MONSOON BUCKETS: Helicopters were called in to help fight the flames about 5pm.

The Press