Hokitika in the 1870s photographed by James Ring. Source: Photographic
Archive, Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand.
I was interested to see what Hokitika looked like around the time George Griffith was there, and found this interesting photo in the National Library NZ on The Commons' photostream.
It is evident from the closeness of the timber dwellings that a fire could easily take hold and wipe out several buildings, as happened in Revell Street in 1869, mentioned in the Early Canterbury Photographers blog.