Three face court over coastal fires

Timaru police are appealing for information about several vegetation fires that were lit on Friday night in the Caroline Bay area and Benvenue Cliffs walkway.

A police spokesman said a large fire had taken hold in a tussock and flax garden near the skate park about 8.40pm and was well established when emergency services arrived.

"Two smaller fires were also lit along the walkway above the Benvenue Cliffs," he said.

"At the time the fires were lit, there was a significant amount of people in the bay area who had been at the concert or carnival and there was also a real risk to members of the public or their property being caught in the fires."

Police were appealing to anyone who was at the bay around the time of the fires who may have seen any suspicious activity to contact them.

The spokesman said several youths were seen running from the area towards Ashbury Park.

Three males would appear in court charged in relation to the fires, but police were still seeking witnesses.

"There have been several fires lit in and around Timaru in the last few months, mainly confined to vegetation, and it is a timely reminder if anyone sees people acting suspiciously to call 111 immediately."

The Timaru Herald