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Fire Safety

Fire safety is everyone's business. Find out more about keeping your friends, family and colleagues safe from fire.

Our Council no longer issues fire permits, Fire and Emergency New Zealand does. Go to their website if you wish to apply for a fire permit. 


What Fire Season Are We In?

Fire and Emergency New Zealand now issues permits for fires in the open. Check their website for more information and whether you need to apply for a fire permit.

Farmers and lifestyle block owners are urged to take extra care when burning large piles of wood. Burn early in the day during settled weather and light winds, and watch the fire until it is out. Unattended fires can escape very quickly and can cause serious damage. Escaped fires can require emergency response to suppress, which can result in a considerable cost to the landowner.

If your concern is a fire risk, you can let Fire and Emergency New Zealand know about your concern by completing the online form available at or calling 0800 336 942.  Please note that Fire and Emergency is only able to take action to deal with genuine fire hazards, and not where the property is just unsightly or presents a health hazard.

If you see an out of control fire, call the Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 111.


Where ever you are in the district - be fire safe

Is the fire really necessary?

It is much safer to take rubbish to your nearest transfer station where it can be disposed of, instead of burning it. Head to the Waikato Regional Council's webpage to read more about what you can and can't burn in the Waikato Region.

Always do a safety check and talk to your neighbours before you light any type of outdoor fire: if you can't control it, don't light it.


Make sure:

Fires in the open are supervised at all times.

There is adequate means of fire suppression available at all times - like a pressured water supply or a fire extinguisher.

The fire is totally extinguished when you are finished.

The following is a check list to be considered prior to applying for a fire permit and lighting a fire: 

  • YES I have cleared the area surrounding the intended fire site of combustible materials including kikuya grass.
  • YES I have knowledge of the topography surrounding the intended fire site and what effect will it have on the fire, i.e. altitude, slope, aspect (north, south, east, west).
  • YES I have identified any natural firebreaks nearby.
  • YES I have considered how far the fire could go if it spreads.
  • YES I have a pressurised water supply with hose or other approved fire suppression equipment, such as a tractor with a front-end loader.
  • YES the fire is sited well clear of any underground services, cables or overhead power lines.
  • YES I have a plan to notify the neighbours and other affected people.
  • YES I have ensured there be no smoke nuisance to anyone and no smoke hazard to traffic.
  • YES I can confirm the fire will be constantly attended until completely extinguished.
  • YES I am aware of the weather conditions and long range forecast and what impact this will have on my intended fire.
  • YES I can ensure there is clear access to the burn site for emergency services. Access ways are cleared of overhanging branches and there are no narrow or locked gates. 
  • YES I am aware if the fire gets out of control I will be liable for any costs.
  • YES I have considered whether there a safer solution to deal with disposal of the rubbish such as taking it to the nearest transfer station or composting.


Where can I get more information on making my property safer from fire?

Visit Fire and Emergency New Zealand's website for more information on fire safety or visit their general website for information on the 2017 amalgamation of the country's urban and rural fire services.


Special Note:

Pursuant to Section 43 of the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 any person lighting a fire in the open air in rural areas (rural areas are defined in the Fire Service Act 1975) is liable for all suppression costs should the fire escape. A fire permit does not indemnify the permit holder from any liability for costs or damages caused by the fire.

You can learn more about how rules are set in rural areas at the Fire and Emergency New Zealand website


Report smoke

If you see any unexplained smoke or a wild fire dial 111.


Fire prevention

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is seeking the cooperation of rural land-owners who have high voltage lines crossing their properties to carry out inspections to ensure vegetation is not growing through the power line corridor. Land owners are encouraged to contact their power provider if they have any queries.

A reminder to all property owners - if we can't get to you, we can't help you. Our fire trucks sometimes can't get access to driveways due to overhanging branches or narrow gates and fence lines. They must have width and height clearance of at least four metres.

We need you to consider from a fire-wise perspective if that rubbish from the bach clean-up would be better taken to the recycling/transfer station rather than being burned. This is also a requirement in the Waikato Regional Plan - head to the Regional Council's website to learn more about what you can and can't burn.


Escape plan

All householders are encouraged to develop their own escape plans, in the event of a fire in the home.

Should you require more information, please contact Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has a great website on fire safety at home and at work. We recommend visiting it and developing a fire safety plan.