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Environmental Health
~ Ratonga Tiaki Taiao

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Current fire status

Fire and Emergency New Zealand 'Check it's Alright Before You Light' website has an interactive drop-down feature that'll tell you what the fire status is anywhere within New Zealand. It's pretty nifty - check it out.

Fire Restrictions

The website also tells you if you need a fire permit. You can apply this online - both urban and rural - or call +0800 658 628. There is no charge for fire permits.

But this is important: you must also abide by the rules and regulations of NCC's Fire Control Bylaw 2014.

Fire seasons

Check It's Alright will also tell more about the three types of fire season we have - and what the current situation is. If you have any further questions, call +0800 658 628.

Lighting fires in open residential areas

Fires cannot be lit in breach of the Hawke's Bay Regional Council Airshed Rules or NCC's Fire Bylaw 2014. During a Restricted Fire Season, a fire permit is required for all fires in unapproved fire places and incinerators (excluding cultural and cooking fires). All fires are prohibited in Total Fire Bans.

Lighting fires in the open rural areas

During a Restricted Fire Season, a fire permit is required for all fires (including cultural and cooking fires). All fires are prohibited in Total Fire Bans.

Lighting fires in public areas

  • Beaches, Parks and Reserves. All fires are prohibited at beaches, parks and reserves at all times. 
  • Rivers controlled Hawke's Bay Regional Council. People need to apply to Hawke's Bay Regional Council before lighting a fire. All fires are prohibited in Total Fire Bans.

Fires burning at night

Fires burning at night can be mistaken for uncontrolled fires. People wishing to have fires burning after dark during an Open Fire Season are asked to advise Fire And Emergency New Zealand (phone: 0800 658 628 or email Permits: hawkesbay@fireandemergency.nz).

During a Restricted Fire Season, a fire permit is required to have a fire burning after dark. All fires are prohibited in Total Fire Bans.

Standard fire lighting conditions

Fires must:

  • be at least five metres clear of any flammable material, vegetation, fence or building
  • not be lit in windy conditions or when strong winds are forecast
  • not be left unattended
  • have means of controlling and extinguishing the fire readily at hand such as a garden hose
  • be completely extinguished with water.

Approved fire places

  • Any fire place approved by a permit issuing officer of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
  • Enclosed outdoor fire places, pizza ovens and chiminea.
  • Solid fuel BBQs with enclosed ash pans.
  • Any gas-fired cooking appliance.
  • Hangi and umu meeting the standard conditions.

Fire Places that need a fire permit or approval during a Restricted Fire Season.

Fireworks

A person must not light or use an incendiary device, in the open air in circumstances where an uncontrolled fire may eventuate which may:

  • spread to a building, fence or vegetation on the premises
  • spread beyond the boundary of the premises, or
  • result in a nuisance from smoke or ash to the occupiers of adjoining premises.

RPGs are prohibited under all circumstances.

During a Restricted Fire Season, a fire permit is required to unleash fireworks. All fireworks are prohibited in Total Fire Bans.

Fiery neighbours

If there's a property in your neighbourhood you believe is a health or safety hazard due to an unkempt section, you might first try talking to the property owner. If this doesn't resolve the problem - and your concern is not an imminent fire risk e.g. hoarding - contact us.

If your concern is a fire risk, you can let Fire and Emergency New Zealand know about your concern by completing this online form or calling 0800 336 942.  Please note that Fire and Emergency will only act on genuine fire hazards, not where the property is merely unsightly or presents a health hazard.

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