Fire rules to change now summer's over

Publish Date : 30 Mar 2017

As daylight saving comes to an end on 2 April, the Auckland Rural Fire District season will also change, allowing open fires on the mainland without fire permits.

However, a restricted fire season remains for the populated Hauraki Gulf islands, and the conservation islands remain in a total fire ban.

Summer stats

Auckland Council’s Civil Defence and Emergency Management Committee Chair, Councillor Sharon Stewart, commends Aucklanders for a summer of good fire practice.

“Auckland Rural Fire volunteers responded to 57 vegetation fires this summer, 14 more than last summer’s 42 fires, but we have noticed Aucklanders being much more careful about lighting fires safely and taking advice from Rural Fire officers,” she says.

What are the rules? 

From 1 April, you won't need a permit for most open fires on the mainland, including burning dry and seasoned vegetation.

However if your fire is larger than 8m x 8m or you have multiple burn piles, you will need a permit or burn plan.

The populated islands of the Hauraki Gulf (Great Barrier, Waiheke, Kawau, Ponui and Rakino) move from a total fire ban into a restricted fire season. This means you need a permit for all fires lit in the open.

All complying fires must:

  • Be used in a safe and considerate manner
  • Be lit and be of a size that burns 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.

Keep acting responsibly

Principal Rural Fire Officer Bryan Cartelle says people should continue to act responsibly in the respective fire seasons.

“If you wish to light an open fire in a rural area you should to locate it well away from trees, scrubs, long grass and any structures and keep fires at a manageable size,” he says.

“And remember, please check it’s alright before you light.”

For information on fire safety and tips for the safe lighting of open air fires check the Aukland Council website  and follow Auckland Rural Fire on Facebook.

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