Guy Fawkes chaos: 26 fireworks-related fires in 24 hours

In the last 24 hours, fire crews across New Zealand have responded to at least 26 fires started by fireworks, several of them significant.

With another 24 hours until the official Guy Fawkes night, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) crews are on high alert.

About 30 firefighters were called to an out of control blaze near West Melton just after 7pm on Saturday. It's believed a person driving past fired a multi-shot firework at the hedge, and police are investigating the incident.

Crews managed to save the house, but hedges around the property were burnt.

"The wind is quite strong here in Canterbury tonight, and it's very volatile conditions for any type of fire," FENZ area commander Colin Russell told Newshub.

Ten volunteers spent the night dampening down hotspsots and watching for flare-ups.

It wasn't the only fireworks-related callout for Canterbury's emergency services on Saturday night - there was also an incident at Timaru International Motor Raceway.

Sergeant Mylen Hamilton said someone let fireworks out of the window of a car as it drove by, engulfing about 40 metres of hedges in flames.

Fireworks were also found at the scene of a blaze at Lake Hawea near Wanaka on Friday that needed five helicopters to bring it under control in windy conditions

Fire crews are on high alert and are disappointed with the behaviour they've seen since fireworks went on sale on Friday morning. There were 26 fireworks related callouts in 24 hours around the country, which FENZ fire risk management officer Wayne Hamilton says isn't good enough.

"It acts as a toll on the public, because the volunteers are volunteers - and so they are out there giving up their time, giving up their Saturday night to put out a fire that didn't need to occur."

Dee Hunter runs the 'Ban the Boom NZ' Facebook group, which calls for changes to the legislation around fireworks.

She says none of the issues over the last 24 hours would have happened if the laws around the sale and distribution of fireworks were amended.

"If it was one day and one night only for the purchase and sale of fireworks, I think a lot a people would be quite satisfied with that recourse."

For now, fire crews are bracing themselves for a couple more busy nights.