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Rural Fire Control


Current Fire Status

Wairoa District is currently in a Prohibited Fire Season. NO outdoor fires of any type may be lit.

Prohibited Fire Season

The public is advised that pursuant to Section 22(2) of the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977, The Wairoa District Council as a Fire Authority, has imposed a: -RESTRICTED FIRE SEASON for all areas under its control effective as of 7am Tuesday, 10th January 2017 except for the Māhia, Opoutama, Māhanga, Nūhaka and Mōrere areas where a PROHIBITED FIRE SEASON (total fire ban) will remain in place. No person shall light a fire in the open air, including incinerators, without having first obtained a written fire permit from the Wairoa District Council.

A permit to burn does not exempt the holder from responsibility for any damage caused by a permitted fire getting out of control.
Allow three working days to process permits.

The above restriction and prohibition will remain in force until revoked by the Council.
All enquiries Telephone: 06-838 7309



Prohibition of the lighting of fires During Extreme Fire Hazard

Notice is hereby given pursuant to Sections 20, 21 and 22 of the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 and the relevant Council Control of Fires Bylaws, that the Wairoa, Hastings and Central Hawkes Bay District Councils, the Napier City Council, and Department of Conservation Fire Authority areas within these Districts, have declared a PROHIBITED FIRE SEASON - TOTAL FIRE BAN to be in effect in all areas under the District and City Council's jurisdiction and all Department of Conservation Fire Authority areas within these Districts, from 8am, Saturday 14 January 2017.

The Prohibition (Total Fire Ban) has been declared due to the current exceptionally dry conditions and shall continue in force until revoked by a further notice.

Unless authorized by the Principal Rural Fire Officer, no person shall light a fire in the open air under any circumstances.

This Total Fire Ban includes all fires in the open air, incinerators, traditional cooking fires (such as hangi, umu, brie), solid fuel barbecues, brazier, pizza ovens, chiminea, camp fires and fireworks.  Gas barbecues and other gas fueled cooking apparatus are permitted, but extra care should be taken with their use.

All fire permits previously issued are hereby suspended.

FOR ALL FIRE EMERGENCIES PHONE 111 and quote your name and address or RAPID number in rural areas.

For further information on rural fire prevention matters please check or contact your local Council Rural Fire Officer.

Donald Scott   Trevor Mitchell    
Principal Rural Fire Officer 
Principal Rural Fire Officer  
Wairoa District Council  Hastings District Council  
John Freeman   Gary Roselli     
Principal Rural Fire Officer
Bylaws Officer  
Central Hawkes Bay District Council Napier City Council
Reg Kemper  
Principal Rural Fire Officer  
Department of Conservation 


Rural Fire Status

  • Open fire season - An open fire season means that any person lighting a fire in the open air can do so without obtaining a 'fire permit' but should remain in attendance with the fire until it is fully extinguished. HOWEVER, even during an Open Fire Season fires that will burn during the period from sunset one night and sunrise the next day (night time) must not be lit without first obtaining a fire permit (see below). This applies 365 days a year.
  • Restricted fire season - A restricted fire season means fire permits are needed from a Rural Fire Officer, who may stipulate conditions on burning. At least three working days' notice is required between the request for a fire permit and the time to burn, to enable staff to inspect sites and process fire permits. No fire may be lit in the open air during the Restricted Fire Season without a permit to burn having first been issued by Council. This includes the use of backyard incinerators. Permits are not required for fixed and portable gas barbecues.
  • Prohibited fire season / Total fire ban - A prohibited fire season or total fire ban means NO outdoor fires may be lit. Special permits may be issued under certain circumstances at the discretion of the Principal Rural Fire Officer only. Gas barbeques may be used without a permit, but caution is advised. Total bans are reasonably rare and are only imposed when the fire risk is extreme.

Rural Fire Control

Wairoa District Council is responsible for the prevention and management of fires that occur within the Rural Fire Area. This includes monitoring ground conditions and, on occasion, putting in place restrictions or bans. The fire restriction is put in place when soil and vegetation reach a certain level of dryness. Monitoring is carried out remotely and is rated using the national Fire Weather Indices ranging from low fire danger to extreme fire danger.

When a restricted fire season is in place, permits are required by anyone wishing to light an open air fire. Examples of this include incinerating rubbish, hangi or barbeque fires, or vegetation burn-offs. Permits are free, with three days notice required.

Larger fires also require a burn plan to detail the exact location of the fire and how it will be managed should it get out of control.

Council staff are available to discuss burn plans, at no cost.

Permits can be obtained from the Council offices on Queen Street within working hours, from Monday to Friday.

Please find the Wairoa District Council Rural Fire Plan at the bottom of the page with the related documents or click here.


You must contact the Wairoa District Council at least three working days before wanting to light a fire in Wairoa that requires a fire permit. You can also apply for a fire permit online.

+64 6 838 7309

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While every endeavour has been taken by the Wairoa District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Wairoa District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Wairoa District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the Wairoa District Council information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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