Rural / Urban Fires


The Council is a member of the Southern District Fire and Emergency NZ. 

We also have a bylaw covering the prevention of vegetation fires in urban areas. Any fire season restrictions imposed on rural areas also have effect on our urban areas.

Fire permits

If you need a fire permit you can apply online or by phoning 0800 658 628.

Fire season rules

Restricted Fire Season – this means you will need a permit to light a fire in the open air.

There are some exemptions for zones A and B, which covers the majority of the Southern District. They are:

  • Gas-operated appliances
  • Charcoal barbeques or grills
  • Wood-fire pizza oven
  • Chiminea
  • Cultural fires
  • Braziers
  • Fire pit / bowls
  • Open drum incinerator and manufactured incinerators

Prohibited Fire Season – this means only gas BBQ’s are permitted but be particularly vigilant. Everything else is not allowed.

Open Fire Season - this means you do not need a permit for a BBQ (including solid fuel ones like charcoal), incinerator, traditional cooking fire or open air fire (eg garden waste).

Fire safety hints

A fire is at all times the responsibility of the person who lit it so always take care and use common sense. Some useful rules are:

  • Have someone watch the fire at all times
  • Check the forecast and make sure no strong winds are forecast while you are burning
  • For a BBQ have at least five metres between you and other combustible material such as building, hedge or fence.
  • Don’t burn close to a public road as smoke may blow across the road obstructing traffic visibility. Alternatively make sure the wind is blowing away from the road.
  • Contact the phone and power provider if you are burning close to overhead power lines
  • Always have enough water on hand  in case things don’t go to plan
  • Make sure the fire is totally extinguished when you finish
  • If something goes wrong call 111

If you would like to apply for a fire permit or find out more about the current fire season status, please contact Southern Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 0800 658 628, or visit its website.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: