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Rural Fire Control


How do I obtain a fire permit?

Permits to burn during a restricted fire season are only issued by the Council's Rural Fire Officers. 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.

apply for a fire permit online.

(06) 838 7309

Information required will include name and address (including rural rapid number), a contact telephone number, and what type of fire you wish to light including the main fuel type being burned.

A site inspection by a Rural Fire Officer will generally be required before a fire permit can be issued.

Fire permits will be subject to conditions and requirements imposed by a Rural Fire Officer.

Permits for lighting fires for other purposes, for example industrial burning and cutting, must be obtained from a Rural Fire Officer but may also be subject to consents from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

Note: These permits are NOT VALID during a TOTAL FIRE BAN

A fire permit is free.

If you live within an area in Wairoa that is controlled by the Department of Conservation (DOC) or the Eastland Rural Fire District including an area of one kilometre around a reserve or forest you will require a 'fire permit' all year round. ALSO if you live within an area controlled by the Bay Forests Rural Fire District you will require a fire permit from them for fires anytime of the year.

Types of fires that will require a permit

During a restricted fire season, the following types of fires will require a permit;

  • Hangi or umu cooking - lambs tails
  • Wood BBQ
  • Open fire, including brazier
  • Rubbish hole burning
  • Land clearing
  • Incinerator
  • Bonfire
  • Any open fire other than gas fired BBQs

The cost of fighting fires

There are powers in place under Sections 43 and 46 of the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 to recover the costs of fighting fires in rural areas.

Under these provisions the cost of fighting vegetation or similar fires on rural land could be passed onto the person who caused the fire or any landowner who 'benefits' from the extinguishing of the fire. These sections do not apply to structure, vehicle or some other types of fire where the costs of firefighting is covered by a 'fire levy' paid as part of general insurance policies.

Council policy is to recover costs where possible. Each case is considered on its merits.

Property owners living outside an Urban Fire Zone should speak with their insurance company and seek, in addition to the household insurance, coverage for the cost of fire fighting for a fire on their rural property.


For more information about fire permits please contact the Wairoa District Council.

+64 6 838 7309

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