Advisory - Prohibited fire season for the Western Bay

12/02/2019 3:00 p.m.

​​​Issued by Fire Emergency New Zealand ​

A prohibited fire season is in place from 12 February 2019, until revoked or amended, in the following areas:

  • Western Bay of Plenty District
  • Rotorua District
  • Whakatane District
  • Opotiki District
  • Taupo District

This advisory notice outlines what a prohibited fire season means for us.

Responsibility for controlling fire in open air

Fire and Emergency New Zealand will exercise fire permitting and enforcement powers in relation to the prohibited fire season declared in Western Bay of Plenty from 12 February 2019.

Regional and city or district councils use bylaws and legislation to regulate fires in their jurisdictions as land owners or controllers, or for various reasons that are unrelated to the risk of outbreak or spread of fire. See the following table for a summary of each entity's area of control:​

EntityArea of control
Territorial Authorities (City and District Councils)
  • Prevent smoke from fires in open air causing a nuisance (bylaw powers)
  • Prohibit or restrict fire on reserve land or public places except in a fire place established by the territorial authority (Reserves Act 1977, bylaw powers)
  • Grant or refuse permission to light a fire in a public place or reserve (Reserves Act 1977)
  • Control nuisance or conditions injurious to health (Health Act 1956)
  • Undertake enforcement action relating to non-compliant fires (Health Act 1956 and/or bylaw powers).

     

    Members of the public can request permission to light a fire in a public place or reserve.
Regional Councils

 

Members of the public can:

  • apply for resource consents for non-permitted fires, unless the particular type of burn is classified as 'prohibited' for the purposes of the Resource Management Act
    Note: This is different to a prohibition on fire in open air, or the declaration of a prohibited fire season, under the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017)
  • report smoke from outdoor fires where hazardous material is being burnt, e.g. plastic, treated timber, tyres.
Fire and Emergency
  • Restrict or prohibit the lighting of fires in open air without a fire permit (Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (the Act))
  • Grant or refuse a permit based on fire risk conditions and fire control matters (Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fire Permits) Regulations 2017 (the Regulations))
  • Undertake enforcement action relating to breaches of fire control legislation (refer to the Act)
  • Use emergency powers to extinguish fires, where action is required to protect and preserve life, prevent injury, or avoid damage to property (refer to the Act and see Operational crew decision to extinguish fire in policy: Fire permitting).

 

Members of the public can:

  • apply for a fire permit during a restricted or prohibited fire season, or when fire is prohibited in open air (refer to the Regulations)
  • report an apparent emergency (111).

Fires that may and may not be lit during a prohibited fire season

The lighting of fires in open air is generally not allowed in a prohibited fire season.  However, a fire may be lit in open air during a prohibited fire season if:

  • the person who lit the fire has an active fire permit issued during the prohibited fire season, or
  • the fire is an authorised fire type in a prohibited fire season, as outlined in the section below.

Authorised fire types during prohibited fire season (excluding Public Conservation Land (PCL))

The following list of authorised fire types do not require a fire permit during a prohibited fire season. However, the person lighting the fire must comply with the conditions applicable to the authorised fire type.

Fire typeDescription and conditions
Gas-operated appliances

Manufactured gas-operated appliances, such as barbeques, outdoor fireplaces and outdoor gas heaters.

Find out more about the safe use of barbeques and gas cylinders and outdoor gas-operated appliances.

Charcoal barbeques or grills

Barbeques or grills that use either charcoal briquettes or natural lump charcoal as their fuel source.

Condition:

Don't use on an apartment balcony, deck, under a roof overhang or within other enclosed areas.

If you cannot meet this condition, you must apply for a permit.

Wood-fire pizza oven

Also known as wood ovens, these are ovens that use wood fuel for cooking.

Conditions:

  • Don't light your fire within three metres of any part of a building, hedge, shelter belt or any other combustible material.
  • In case your fire gets out of control, you must have a suitable way to extinguish it within five metres of your pizza-oven, such as a water hose, mechanical digger, or water sprayer.

If you cannot meet these conditions, you must apply for a permit.

Chiminea

A freestanding front-loading fireplace or oven with a bulbous body, and usually has a vertical smoke vent or chimney.

Conditions:

  • Don't light your fire within three metres of any part of a building, hedge, shelter belt or any other combustible material.
  • In case your fire gets out of control, you must have a suitable way to extinguish it within five metres of your chiminea, such as a water hose, mechanical digger, or water sprayer.

If you cannot meet these conditions, you must apply for a permit.

 

Fire typeDescription and conditions
Cultural fires

Including hāngī, umu, braai and lovo.

Conditions:

  • Your fire area must be less than two square metres.
  • Don't light your fire within three metres of any part of a building, hedge, shelter belt or any other combustible material.
  • In case your fire gets out of control, you must have a suitable way to extinguish it within five metres of your cultural fire, such as a water hose, mechanical digger, or water sprayer.

Find out more about the safe use of cultural fires.

If you cannot meet these conditions, you must apply for a permit.


Note: These authorised fire types do not apply to public conservation land. See the separate table below for Authorised fire types for PCL during a prohibited fire season.

Authorised fire types for PCL during a prohibited fire season

The following authorised fire type for public conservation land (PCL) does not require a fire permit during a prohibited fire season. However, the person lighting the fire must comply with the conditions applicable to the authorised fire type.

Fire typeDescription and conditions
Gas-operated appliances

Manufactured gas-operated appliances, such as barbeques, outdoor fireplaces and outdoor gas heaters.

Find out more about the safe use of barbeques and gas cylinders and outdoor gas-operated appliances

Attending a fire in a prohibited fire season

Follow these steps when attending a fire within area(s) where there is a prohibited fire season:

1.     Make a risk-based decision on whether the fire is an immediate danger to life or property. If it is, you must extinguish the fire, using emergency powers.

2.     Refer to the authorised fire types in a prohibited fire season in the appropriate table above to determine whether the fire requires a fire permit.​​

If the fire is…then…
an authorised fire typeno action is required.
not an authorised fire type

·       a fire permit is required

·       go to step 3.

3.     Confirm whether there is a fire permit for the fire and that the fire complies with permit conditions:

If it is a prohibited fire season and there is…then…
a fire permit and the conditions are complied withno action is required.
no fire permit for this fire or there is a breach of fire permit conditionsmake a risk-based decision on whether the fire is a danger to life or property — if it is, you must extinguish the fire using emergency powers.​


Regional Council requirements

Bay of Plenty Regional Council 0800 884 880 www.boprc.govt.nz prohibits the burning of the following materials:

  • Rubbish and household waste - including plastic of any sort, polystyrene, coated or covered metal, rubber, paint, waste oil, pitch asphalt, fabric, kitchen waste or large amounts of printed paper synthetic materials like foam or fibreglass or cardboard
  • Treated timber - for outdoor use, such as, fencing or decking, outdoor furniture or cladding
  • Modified wood - products such as MDF or custom wood, chip board or plywood or other wood that contain glue and binding agents
  • Wet or green wood – including plant waste that produce large amounts of smoke
  • Motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts
  • Asbestos - contained in materials like insulation, roofing material and some rope.

 Territorial Authority requirements

Western Bay of Plenty District Council's 07 571 8008 or 0800 926 732 www.westernbay.govt.nz restrictions on burning are:

Smoke Nuisance

Smoke from fires in open air must not cause a nuisance for neighbouring properties. The Western Bay of Plenty District Council responds to complaints relating to smoke nuisance incidences, especially when the smoke is potentially impacting on people's health.

​Fires in public places

Under Western Bay of Plenty District Council public places bylaw, the only fire someone can have in the open air in a public place without council permission is a gas barbecue, etc.

Fires in parks and reserves​

Under the Western Bay of Plenty District Council parks and reserve bylaw the only fire someone can have in the open air in a park or reserve without council permission is a gas barbecue, etc.

Page reviewed: 12 Feb 2019 3:49pm