Find out about the current fire season and what the requirements are before you think about lighting any fires out in the open. Information about fire permits and fire permit conditions, as well as what can be done about smoke nuisance, can be found on this page.
- Fire Season
- Fire Permits
- Who do I call about a fire or smoke nuisance?
- Fire Emergency New Zealand website www.checkitsalright.nz
Fire and Emergency New Zealand
Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) will start exercising fire control powers, rather than councils, progressively through to 1 July 2018, as councils decide to revoke their fire control bylaws or bylaws expire. Until then fire permits for the Hauraki District can be applied for through Hauraki District Council providing the requirements meet the FENZ conditions. See more about permits below. For more information see Fire and Emergency New Zealand website www.checkitsalright.nz
From 5 March, as we are now in an open fires season, open air fires will no longer require a permit. However, you are still responsible for the fire and must ensure that the fire is well controlled and does not spread to vegetation or property.
Find out more about the current fire status on the Fire Emergency New Zealand website www.checkitsalright.nz
When is the restricted fire season usually?
The restricted fire season is during summer with the typically driest months which are usually from 20 December of one year until 4 March the following year. The restricted fire season will be well advertised.
What does a restricted fire season mean?
Permits are required to light fires in the open air during a restricted fire season. Contact one of our Council Offices to apply for a permit.
This is likely to involve an inspection of the site where you wish to light a fire. If appropriate a Fire Permit will be issued to you setting out the specific conditions in which you can undertake the burn. This may include clearance distances and weather conditions. You commit an offence if you knowingly or recklessly light, or allow another person to light a fire without a fire permit, or not in accordance with the conditions of a fire permit, during a restricted fire season. See more about fire permits below or go the the Fire Emergency New Zealand website www.checkitsalright.nz
Fire permits may be issued depending on the fire season. During a restricted fire season a fire permit is required for all fires in the open air. No permits will be issued for open fires during a fire ban.
Anyone who lights a fire is responsible for the cost of fighting that fire if it gets out of control.
Who to contact:
Applications for a fire permit should be made 48 hours prior to burning to allow time to process the application. Please contact one of our Council Offices for the Hauraki District excluding Kaiaua. For Kaiaua contact Owen MacDonald, CFO Kaiaua Fire Force, 021 867499.
Conditions of permits
- Open air - 'Open air' means not in a fire place, incinerator, Barbecue, or other place, duly approved in each case.
- Wind, etc - Do not light up in a strong wind, or in conditions likely to spread the fire or to present a fire hazard (includes an adverse long-range weather forecast). Check the forecast.
- Patrol - Patrol the fire until completely out or cannot spread
- Notice - Notify neighbours as directed - before lighting a controlled burn.
- Extreme hazard - Permits are Suspended by fire hazard emergency warnings or orders prohibiting all open air fires. Check radio or ring local authority. If fire is essential for an emergency (e.g. stock disease) a special permit would be required.
- Showing Permit - The permit must be produced on demand by a member of Police or Fire Officer.
- Damage - A permit is not a legal defence against claims for damage caused by the fire. The permit holder is always responsible for any damage caused by the fire and suppression costs may also be charged.
- Parks, etc - Except where officially signposted otherwise, permits are needed at all times for open fires in National or maritime Parks, in specially protected sites, and in (including their fire safety margins of 1 kilometre) other state areas or forest areas.
- Escape - If the fire gets out of hand, try to extinguish it. Urgently notify the New Zealand Fire Service Commission or a Fire Officer. Ring 111.
- Offences - It is an offence to light an open air fire without the appropriate permit, or to break permit conditions or to let a fire spread to and injure a State area, forest area or specially protected property, or to leave it unprotected against such a spread.
- Joint Permits - Obtain further permits from soil conservation, Crown, or other statutory fire authorities who's approval is required, if this is not a joint permit signed on their behalf
- Landholder - Separate consent by the landholder may be needed.
- Nuisance - No person shall burn, or permit or suffer to be burnt, any matter or thing in such a manner as to be offensive.
- Revocation - This permit is revocable upon notice at any time without prior warning.
If there is a threat to life or property - CALL 111
If smoke is causing a safety concern e.g. smoke across the road - CALL 111
If you think there is a health hazard e.g. burning something toxic - CALL Council 07 862 8609 or 0800 734 834
Find out more
If you have any quires about fires in the open air please contact one of the following:
Hauraki District excluding Kaiaua
Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer
CFO Kaiaua Fire Force
Go to the Fire Emergency New Zealand website www.checkitsalright.nz for more information about Fires and Permits