Timaru Fire Service officials are fed up with people intentionally lighting fires in South Canterbury and the potential for danger it creates.
About 1pm yesterday Timaru firefighters responded to a pile of garden rubbish along Spur Rd that appeared to be deliberately set alight. The fire burned about 400 square metres.
"The worrying thing for us was it was right near a stand of trees, overgrown scrub and gorse. If it had got on that, we would have been there for some time," senior station officer Garry Parker said.
The area is also used to access a popular rock climbing spot, he said. If the fire had spread, people could potentially have been trapped.
At the same time, firefighters were also called to a crash near Pareora, in which a car drifted across the highway and off the road. Washdyke firefighters responded to the scene.
The crash turned out to be minor, with the sole female occupant unhurt. But "potentially somebody could have been trapped or seriously hurt ... and the Spur Rd fire would have delayed us," Mr Parker said.
Anyone who noticed suspicious activity near Spur Rd yesterday can call Timaru police on (03) 687 9808.
- The Timaru Herald