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Rural Fire Control


Fire Safety

Previous years have highlighted the extreme fire danger conditions that exist in Hawke's Bay during a good summer.

The advice offered in this document, if followed, should considerably reduce the risk of a tragic or disastrous fire occurring.

How to minimise the risk of fire

Take some time to look around your section and identify potential risks for the spread of fire.

  • Remove dangerous growth and other garden rubbish
  • Create a fire break between standing growth and your home and outbuildings.
  • Create a fire break between any reserves or empty sections adjoining your property
  • Ensure your firewood is stored safely away from the house.

Reporting smoke sightings

During a restricted fire season, ring your Rural Fire Officer on (06) 838 7309 to confirm if a permit has been issued for any fire you think may be a problem.

If you have concerns about the fire being safe, dial 111 for the fire service.

During a total fire ban, ring 111 immediately. There should be NO fires at all and your early report of a fire may well save damage to your property in extreme conditions.

Prepare your home in case of rural fire

Home owners should start tidying up rubbish around the home before fire restrictions are put in place.

Fire breaks

Mowing and grazing of grass along boundaries and near buildings, roads, railways, public areas and forests is essential to limit potential fire spread.

Irrigating areas around buildings, removal of dead vegetation, cleaning of roofs and gutters, trimming and thinning of trees, planting of low flammability species, and reducing build-up of rubbish are all ways that you can help lessen the likelihood of fire on your property.

Fire vehicle access

Urban and rural fire trucks are three metres high by three metres wide and weigh 14 tonnes. Can these vehicles fit through your gate and get down your driveway? Are bridges and culverts on your property able to carry the weight? What about quick access to building locations and water points? Access is the responsibility of the land owner.

Water supplies

If fire crews have to come to your property to fight a fire, a minimum of 40,000 litres of water is needed to fight a house fire. This water may be in household tanks or in ponds, dams, or swimming pools. If you have a pressurised well or irrigation system, fit a coupling that fire fighters can use to connect directly into as this will save time.

Water points should be clearly signposted and have good vehicle access, including a turning area.

Property identification

Ensure that your rural rapid number is clearly displayed at the gate or on your letterbox to ensure easy visual identification for emergency services in an emergency. (If your rural property does not have a rapid number contact a member of Council's Building Team to obtain one)

When reporting a fire, describe the best access to the fire to the operator and have someone out on the road to direct responding fire trucks, or use a parked vehicle with hazard lights operating as a marker.


For more information about Fire Safety please contact the Wairoa District Council.

(06) 838 7309

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