Fires in Urban Areas

On 1 July 2017, the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 came into force. This Act repeals the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1997, with immediate effect.

Information, brochures and guidance material related to this website, and this webpage will be progressively updated to reflect the requirements of the Act.

Environment Canterbury has strict restrictions on the lighting of outdoor fires in residential areas because it is likely that a fire will cause a nuisance or contribute to health problems caused by poor air quality.

Outdoor burning in residential-zoned areas or close to sensitive areas is banned all year, unless a resource consent is obtained to burn from Environment Canterbury. 

Heaters and cookers that burn solid fuel or oil and burn with a yellow flame, such as braziers, ambient outdoor fires, chimineas and pizza ovens are not allowed.

The exceptions are barbecues, hangi and umu which are allowed. 

Appliances that burn with a blue flame, such as gas patio heaters and gas cookers, are also allowed as they produce hardly any air pollution.

Anyone found not complying with the rules or regulations can be prosecuted by Environment Canterbury.

To report or complain about someone burning in an urban area, phone Environment Canterbury's 24-hour pollution hotline on 0800 765 588. 

Find out more about air quality, air pollution monitoring and how your choice of home heating affects your air on the Environment Canterbury website.