Fire – Know your fire seasons

With winter rolling into town it’s brought with it a change of fire season. Recently it has changed from ‘restricted fire season’ to ‘open fire season.’ What does this mean? During ‘open fire season’, fire permits are not required for complying fires that are lit in the open on private land and are within the rural fire area.

Property owners are reminded that they remain responsible for preventing any uncontrolled spread of a fire on their land or any smoke nuisance or other adverse affect to neighbours or the environment.

Complying fires lit during an open fire season must:
• be used in a safe and considerate manner.
• be lit and burn out during daylight hours.
• not be a land clearing fire.
• have no green vegetation included.
• have no rubber or plastic items or toxic materials included.
• have no treated timber or building waste included.

If your fire falls outside these restrictions, such as burning standing vegetation over half a hectare, clearing of forestry waste or involve multiple large fires, then a burn plan is required to be submitted for approval by the Rural Fire Team.

Auckland Council Rural Fire Officers will provide advice, or subject to certain conditions, a fire permit for any fires outside the above parameters.

If you intend to light a fire in a rural area, locate it well away from trees, long grass and any structures. Keep fires to a small manageable size. It’s better to have several small fires than one large fire. If you have any doubts, then don’t have a burn at all.

For more information, you may phone 09 301 0101 or visit  If you live outside the Auckland Council area, check with your relevant local council.

Lastly, for those who have commenced using your fireplace to warm your house, have you had your chimney cleaned before doing so? If not, please get it done asap!