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Rural Fire Control


Current Fire Status

Wairoa District is currently in an Open Fire Season. Permits may be required to light a fire.

Please read below for fire types which will require permits.

Open Fire Season

Revocation of Restricted Fire Season

The public is advised that pursuant to Section 22(2) of the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 the, Wairoa District Council as a Fire Authority, hereby REVOKES the RESTRICTED FIRE SEASON imposed on Wairoa Rural Fire District and declares an OPEN FIRE SEASON except for all beaches in the district which will remain in a PROHIBITED FIRE SEASON effective 0600, Thursday, March 16, 2017.

The public are advised that this revocation does not apply to those areas situated within the fire control zones of the Department of Conservation, Bay Forests Rural Fire District and Eastland Rural Fire District. Permits are required in these areas.

All enquiries Telephone: 06 838 7309

Donald Scott

Rural Fire Status

  • Open fire season - An open fire season means that any person lighting a fire in the open air can do so without obtaining a 'fire permit' but should remain in attendance with the fire until it is fully extinguished. HOWEVER, even during an Open Fire Season fires that will burn during the period from sunset one night and sunrise the next day (night time) must not be lit without first obtaining a fire permit (see below). This applies 365 days a year.
  • Restricted fire season - A restricted fire season means fire permits are needed from a Rural Fire Officer, who may stipulate conditions on burning. At least three working days' notice is required between the request for a fire permit and the time to burn, to enable staff to inspect sites and process fire permits. No fire may be lit in the open air during the Restricted Fire Season without a permit to burn having first been issued by Council. This includes the use of backyard incinerators. Permits are not required for fixed and portable gas barbecues.
  • Prohibited fire season / Total fire ban - A prohibited fire season or total fire ban means NO outdoor fires may be lit. Special permits may be issued under certain circumstances at the discretion of the Principal Rural Fire Officer only. Gas barbeques may be used without a permit, but caution is advised. Total bans are reasonably rare and are only imposed when the fire risk is extreme.

Rural Fire Control

Wairoa District Council is responsible for the prevention and management of fires that occur within the Rural Fire Area. This includes monitoring ground conditions and, on occasion, putting in place restrictions or bans. The fire restriction is put in place when soil and vegetation reach a certain level of dryness. Monitoring is carried out remotely and is rated using the national Fire Weather Indices ranging from low fire danger to extreme fire danger.

When a restricted fire season is in place, permits are required by anyone wishing to light an open air fire. Examples of this include incinerating rubbish, hangi or barbeque fires, or vegetation burn-offs. Permits are free, with three days notice required.

Larger fires also require a burn plan to detail the exact location of the fire and how it will be managed should it get out of control.

Council staff are available to discuss burn plans, at no cost.

Permits can be obtained from the Council offices on Queen Street within working hours, from Monday to Friday.

Please find the Wairoa District Council Rural Fire Plan at the bottom of the page with the related documents or click here.


You must contact the Wairoa District Council at least three working days before wanting to light a fire in Wairoa that requires a fire permit. You can also apply for a fire permit online.

+64 6 838 7309

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While every endeavour has been taken by the Wairoa District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Wairoa 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. Wairoa District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the Wairoa 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.

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