Rural / Urban Fires
We are a member of the Southern District Fire and Emergency NZ.
We have a bylaw covering the prevention of vegetation fires in urban areas. You can learn more about the bylaw here. Any fire season restrictions imposed on rural areas also have effect on our urban areas.
Fire season status and permits
To find out the status of the fire season and for permits please contact Fire and Emergency New Zealand and refer to the Checkitsalright.nz webpage. You can also contact Southern Rural Fire on 027 614 3949.
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
- Cultural fires
- 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