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Rural Fire Control


Fire prevention

Avoid having any fires - Wairoa District Council discourages the burning of waste which can be recycled.

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


A permit for a wood fired BBQ is necessary in a restricted fire season.

  • 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 will need a permit in a restricted fire season.

  • Provide a close fitting lid to avoid the escape of sparks
  • Short, quick fires are best avoiding smoke pollution when the weather is suitable
  • Incinerators are now allowed during a prohibited fire season


In an open fire season, fireworks do not require a fire permit within the Wairoa District Council Rural Fire Authority area. Other Fire Authorities may have different rules. There may however be other issues in regards to noise, smoke etc which needs to be considered. The Regional Council offers advice if these are possibly an issue.

Once a restricted fire season has been declared, a fire permit must be applied for from the correct Rural Fire Authority. The fire authorities within the Wairoa District are the Wairoa District Council, Eastland Rural Fire District and Bay Forests. If in doubt, ask the Rural Fire Officer at Council and they will assist you.
It is important that this advice is obtained prior to lighting the fireworks as all of the above Fire Authorities other than the Council operate fire restrictions 365 days of the year.

In a Prohibited Fire Season (TOTAL FIRE BAN) no person shall light a fire including fireworks.

At any time should fireworks cause a fire, the person lighting the fireworks shall be liable for the cost of extinguishing it as a minimum.

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 weekly collection in the Wairoa area. Please use this service. Paper and cardboard, cans, plastic bottles and glass are collected by the HBEPB Recyclers.

Compost - Make compost with suitable refuse. This will benefit not only your garden, but your pocket too.

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.


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

+64 6 838 7309

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