skip to main content skip to main menu

Rural Fire

a z magnify glass

Current Fire Status

Central Hawke's Bay is currently in a Open Fire Season. Permits may be required to light a fire.

Please read below for fire types which will require permits.

Open Fire Season

Fire Safety

Previous years have highlighted the extreme fire danger conditions that exist in Hawke's Bay during a good summer.

The advice offered in this document, if followed, should considerably reduce the risk of a tragic or disastrous fire occurring.

How to minimise the risk of fire

Take some time to look around your section and identify potential risks for the spread of fire.

  • Remove dangerous growth and other garden rubbish
  • Create a fire break between standing growth and your home and outbuildings.
  • Create a fire break between any reserves or empty sections adjoining your property
  • Ensure your firewood is stored safely away from the house.

Fire prevention

Avoid having any fires - Central Hawke's Bay District Council discourages the burning of waste which can be recycled.

  • Household refuse should be put out for collection
  • Compost all garden waste where possible
  • Remove other garden prunings, unwanted shrubs etc to the Transfer Stations. Share loads with neighbours to cut costs.

Necessary Burning

Where the need to burn is necessary enquire with the Council as to the requirements.

  • Obtain a permit supplied free of charge, if burning in the open air and follow the conditions.
  • Maintain a clear space of at least 3m from other combustible material
  • Keep the hose connected to the water supply
  • Maintain constant attendance at the fire Never burn in windy conditions and ensure fire is completely extinguished before nightfall.
  • Fires are not allowed during a prohibited fire season.


These also may be used without a permit.

  • Consider using a gas Bar-B-Que
  • Keep the hose connected to the water supply
  • Only gas Bar-B-Ques are allowed during a prohibited fire season.


Air is needed for anything to burn. Therefore make sure your incinerator is cleaned out before you start and keep all passages open for air to come through.

Light up with the driest and most combustible material. Burn in small amounts. Large objects will block the airflow - so break them up.

Dry wet materials before burning.

Heat is required to maintain burning. Use a lid to partly cover the top of the incinerator. This will deflect sparks and flying ash and help control the rate of combustion.

Install a 1.4m high chimney to facilitate the dispersal of smoke.

These may be used without a permit but all other safety requirements for burning in the open air apply.

  • Provide a close fitting lid to avoid the escape of sparks
  • Short, quick fires are best avoiding smoke pollution when the weather is suitable


The use of fireworks in residential gardens is not recommended.

At Guy Fawkes it is recommended that you

  • Attend a community fireworks display or
  • Take the family to the beach and enjoy your display.

Remember, if you do light a fire anywhere ensure it is attended until it is fully extinguished.

Child Safety

Teach your children the dangers of fire. Keep matches and lighters out of reach. Store flammables - garden mower or boat fuel in a safe locked place.

Backyard Fires

Burning rubbish is not an environmentally friendly way of refuse disposal. Use other methods as much as possible.

RECYCLE - There is a weeky collection in the towns. Please use this service. Paper and cardboard, cans, plastic bottles and glass are all recyclable.

COMPOST - Make compost with suitable refuse. This will benefit not only your garden, but your pocket too. Commercial garden waste collections are available at reasonable cost. You can find them in the yellow pages.

If you must burn rubbish

If you must burn rubbish follow the following rules.

Things not to burn:

Rubber, plastics, treated timber, painted wood, mattresses and carpets. These may produce toxic fumes.Aerosol cans - they may explode. Green grass or foliage - these produce large quantities of smoke and also emit toxic fumes.

Consider Your Neighbour

Smoke from your incinerator may aggravate medical conditions and annoy your neighbour. Avoid using your incinerator if the wind will blow the smoke over a neighbour's property.

Washing and wet paint are particularly susceptible to smoke - consult your neighbour before lighting your fire.

Make absolutely sure that:

  • Your incinerator is not close to anything combustible.
  • Adequate water supplies are available to put the fire out at any time - particularly when burning is finished for the day.
  • Your incinerator is not left unsupervised.
  • Unburnt scraps are not left in or around the incinerator.

Bylaw Requirements for FIRES IN THE OPEN AIR

In any open fire season, no fire can be lit in the open air including a barbecue, ethnic cooking fire, or an incinerator fire unless it can be done safely. This includes making sure that the location, wind, or other conditions will not cause, or are likely to cause, the fire to become a danger to any person or property; or burn out of control or spread beyond the boundary of the premises on which it is lit; or cause a smoke or ash nuisance to any person.

Any such fire cannot be lit within three (3) metres of any part of a boundary, building, tree, hedge, fence or other combustible material and must be under continuous supervision at all times.

The person lighting the fire must have an acceptable means of fire suppression available, e.g. a hose with pressurised water, where the fire is located on residential premises, or land adjoining residential premises.

Any fire anywhere in the District that will burn between the hours of sunset and sunrise must have a ‘Fire Permit’ issued by the Council’s Rural Fire Officer.

Related Documents

There are no documents related to this page.

Related Pages

There are no pages related to this page.

1 page views for the last 30 days

Share with a friend  

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Central Hawke's Bay District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Central Hawke's Bay District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Central Hawke's Bay District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the Central Hawke's Bay District Council information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Central Hawke's Bay District Council - / +64 6 887 8060 / Fax: +64 6 857 7179