Important information

Standard Conditions

These are the standard conditions that apply to ALL Pumicelands Fire and Emergency New Zealand fire permits unless approved otherwise in writing by a PRFA Rural Fire Officer

Wind: No fire is to be lit if strong wind or other conditions are likely to cause the fire to escape.

Nearby Hazards: No fire is to be lit within five meters of any part of a building, fence, tree, hedge, shelterbelt, or any other combustible material. Hotworks (welding, cutting, or grinding) must be done on bare earth sites.

Containing the Fire: Water and/or tools/equipment must be available at the fire site and be immediately ready to operate to contain the fire. (eg. A garden hose may be required for a small household rubbish fire. A helicopter and machinery may be required for a large land clearing burn.)

Patrolling: No fire is to be left unattended while burning. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to ensure that the fire is checked/patrolled until it is completely out. Hotworks in any commercial forest must be patrolled for at least an hour afterwards.

Smoke: This permit is not a resource consent to discharge smoke or other contaminants into the air – it does not exempt you from any obligations under section 15 of the Resource Management Act 1991 or council bylaws for which you may be prosecuted. If smoke from the fire is likely to create a smoke hazard (eg. to traffic, aircraft, powerlines, etc) the fire must not be lit. You must not burn green vegetation, tyres, plastics, foam products, waste oil etc that create smoke and odor nuisances.

Night Fires: Fires are not to be lit at night (between the official hours of sunset and sunrise) except where this is specifically stated as being allowed in the permit’s special conditions (eg. for a bonfire).

Larger Fires: If the fire involves land clearing and/or burning cutover or standing scrub and/or is larger than 25 square meters (eg. 5 x 5 meters):

  1. The site must have been inspected by a Rural Fire Officer.
  2. The permit holder must obtain a weather forecast before lighting the fire.
  3. The fire is not to be lit if strong winds or winds from an unapproved direction are forecast.
  4. Before lighting, neighbours and the local NZ Fire Service must be notified. Give phone number.
  5. Public liability insurance of at least $250,000 is advised.

Prohibitions: This permit is suspended if there is a prohibition or order under Section 20 or Section 21 of the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 against the lighting of fires in the open air at the location specified in this permit. Immediately before lighting a fire the permit holder must make reasonable efforts to confirm that no prohibition or order is currently in force.

Other Important Information

There is no cost to obtain a fire permit.

A permit may take up to three working days to issue. Permits will only be issued during normal business hours, Monday to Friday 8am-5pm, public holidays excluded. No application will be treated as urgent.

An inspection may be required. A Pumiceland’s representative or Rural Fire Officer may contact you to clarify your request and may need to inspect the fire location before a permit can be issued.

A Prescribed Burning Plan may be required for larger fires. A Rural Fire Officer may need to approve a Prescribed Burning Plan for a larger fire before a Fire Permit will be issued (an outline of a Prescribed Burning Plan can be downloaded from the “Keeping Safe” section the Pumicelands website). Generally, all land clearing fires larger than one hectare or which pose risks to surrounding property will require a Prescribed Burning Plan outlining: required fire breaks, required suppression resources on hand, required wind directions and light-up pattern, etc.

To be valid, a permit MUST be signed by the permit holder (i.e. the person named on the permit who is to be responsible for the fire). That person must also have the signed fire permit in their possession before the fire is lit. That permit must also be produced when requested by a member of the Police or a Fire Officer. It is an offence not to produce the permit within a reasonable time when asked to do so.

Permits may be suspended if extreme fire danger develops. Permits may also be revoked at any time without prior warning.

It is a legal requirement to obtain a valid fire permit before lighting any fire in the open air during a Restricted or Prohibited Fire season. “Any fire in the open air” means any fire that is not a gas barque, in an approved fireplace (eg. in a picnic ground), or an approved DOC campfire (see below). There are significant consequences to lighting a fire without a permit or breaching any of the permit conditions.

An “approved DOC campfire” where a fire permit is not required means a fire lit on Department of Conservation land where the following conditions apply:

  1. The fire is for the purposes of camping, picnicking, cooking, comfort or warmth
  2. When it is NOT a Prohibited Fire Season (Total Fire Ban) due to high fire danger.
  3. When there are no signs or notices specific to the locality, roadway, track, picnic area, campground, hut, etc, prohibiting the lighting of fires or restricting when and where fires may be lit.
  4. When there is no tree, log, overhanging vegetation, dry vegetation or other combustible material within three meters of the fire.
  5. When the fire does not exceed one square meter in size.

When you light a fire you assume all liabilities that may arise from it. The fact that you have applied for, or hold a valid fire permit, or did not require a permit, does not provide a legal defense against the costs/penalties for any required fire suppression measures or damages to another person’s property should your fire escape. We advise you to have adequate fire insurance to cover any misadventures.

If your fire escapes DIAL 111.