Waimakariri Fire Season
Fire Emergencies – Dial 111
Open – generally most of the year with no fire restrictions (other than
the special DOC or Forest areas plus fire margins). Permits to light
fires in the open are not necessary. Commonsense rules still apply:
Fires should not be lit in dangerous situations or conditions; Remain in
attendance until the fire is out; ensure that the fire is out before
leaving. The lighter of the fire is responsible for any damage, or costs
incurred to extinguish it. The lighter has a 'duty of care' to their
neighbours and a responsibility to prevent the spread of fire.
Restricted – declared when weather conditions make lighting fires in the
open dangerous. A fire permit or authority is required to light a fire
in the open during a restricted fire season.
Prohibited - declared where extreme weather and high fire danger
conditions exist. This is a 'Total Fire Ban'; no permits to light fires
in the open will be issued. 'Special Permits' may be considered.
Year-round fire restrictions are in force within 1 km of a Department of
Conservation Estate and Forest Areas. Permits from either DOC or the
Ashley Rural Fire Committee are required all year round.
See Environment Canterbury for information on
outdoor burning, smoke nuisance and rules governing discharges to air.
In and close to the Kaiapoi and Rangiora residential areas you may need a
resource consent from Environment Canterbury between 1 May and 30
Outdoor burning in residential-zoned areas or close to sensitive areas
is banned all year round unless a resource consent is obtained to burn.
Establish the Current Fire Season Status
- When conditions warrant, fire restrictions or a total fire ban are
declared. Notices will be published setting out the dates and provisions
of the fire control measures.
- Fire Danger Indicator boards are located at strategic locations
throughout the region to advise the public of current local fire danger
- No person shall light a fire until the current fire season status has been ascertained.
- Ignorance of the current fire season status is no defence against the consequences of an illegally lit fire.
- For further information phone Council Customer Services on (03) 311 8900.
Interpretation: 'Open Air' in relation to fire means other than in a
fireplace, gas barbecue or other receptacle as may from time to time be
authorised by the Fire Authority.
Fire permits are required during a restricted fire season and are issued
by a Council Rural Fire Officer. Permits are not valid until signed by
the permit holder. Fire sites will be inspected by a Rural Fire Officer
prior to a permitted fire being lit. There is currently no charge for fire permits.
Fire permits apply only for the dates noted on the permit. If plans
change a new permit is required. Permits may be cancelled if conditions
deteriorate or fire fighting resources are tied up at a fire.
Fire Permits are issued subject to the conditions listed on the permit
form and attached sheet and apply to daylight hours only. Additional
conditions may be imposed by a Rural Fire Officer.
Permits for larger scrub clearing fires, or clean-ups after logging must
be issued by the Principal Rural Fire Officer and additional planning
and conditions may apply. Conditions are listed in the document 'Conditions Applying to Fires in the Open Air'.
Fires on the Beach
Fires are not permitted at the beach at any time.
Fireworks are considered to be fires in the open and the same conditions
apply to fireworks as other fires in the open. In a restricted fire
season a permit is required for fireworks. Ensure that fireworks are let
off in an area clear of vegetation and that a water supply is
Solid Fuel Barbecues and Braziers (Including Ethnic Cooking Fires)
Solid fuel (e.g. charcoal) barbecues, braziers and ethnic cooking fires
like a hangi or umu are fires in the open and require a permit in a
restricted fire season. These fires may not be lit in a prohibited fire
Gas Operated Barbecues
Gas barbecues may be lit without a permit during any fire season,
although extreme care should be taken during periods of high fire
Fires in a Drum or Incinerator (Rural Areas Only)
Fires in a fully enclosed drum or incinerator are not considered to be
fires in the open and a permit is not required to light these fires
during a restricted fire season. However you must notify the Council of
your intention to burn on a particular day - phone Customer Services on (03) 311 8900.
Fires in open drums, other open containers and fires in pits in the ground are considered to be fires in the open.
During a restricted fire season, fires in an open drum do not require a
separate permit from the Council for each burn provided the conditions
listed in the document 'Conditions Applying to Fires in the Open Air' are complied
with, e.g. wire mesh cover.
It is still necessary to advise the Council prior to lighting a fire in a
drum during a restricted fire season, so that our Rural Fire Officers
are aware of the location of fires on a particular day.
In a restricted fire season, fires in other open containers or in pits in the ground require a fire permit.
Rubbish Fires in Town
Burning rubbish on residential-zoned properties is not permitted by
Environment Canterbury's Air Plan unless a resource consent has been
Crop Residue (Stubble) Burning
Stubble fires are covered by a seasonal permit. This means that a new permit is not required for each burn.
Any person intending to burn stubble should register with the Council at
the start of a restricted fire season, prior to any stubble burning.
Stubble fires must not be lit until the lighter of the fire has been
issued a Seasonal Permit by a Rural Fire Officer and has read and
understood the conditions in the document 'Conditions Applying to Fires in the Open Air'.
The lighter or 'owner' of any fire in a rural area could be liable for
fire fighting costs if the fire gets out of control, whether or not the
fire was lit intentionally.
Any person intending to light a fire, or who may find themselves in a
position of responsibility for a fire should contact their insurance
company with respect to cover for damage caused by fire and fire
The Council encourages all residents living outside the urban fire
districts to talk to their insurance company regarding cover for the
costs of fighting fires.
For more information call Council Customer Services on (03) 311 8900 or (03) 327 6834. back to top