Rural Fire

Take care with fire

The Hurunui District is climatically dry and hot during the summer periods. 

There is also a large number of privately owned exotic forests spread throughout the district. 

Native tussock and snowgrass cover the hill and high country and marrum grass and coastal tussock are found along the east coast of the District.  There are extensive areas of indigenous forests throughout the district, but more-so in the State Forest areas to the west.

Burning off as a management tool is carried out regularly by farmers in the hill and high country. The burning off for land-clearing in the exotic forest areas takes place occasionally. 

Hanmer Springs Township extends up to the boundary of Carter Holt Harvey Forest and there is a direct threat to the safety of residents and property should a major fire breakout in this area.

Any major fire in the Hurunui can threaten the public and cause the loss of lives and may cause damage to public utilities, disrupt power and communication services.

If you are travelling through our district, be responsible.

If you are planning a controlled burn then talk to us. The Hurunui District Council is responsible for keeping our district safe. We are happy to provide information and advice.

Our Responsibilities

The Hurunui District Council Rural Fire Authority  covers all of the Hurunui District except for;

It has obligations under the Rural Fires Act 1977 to promote prevention detection control and restriction of fire in its rural area.

This includes imposing fire restrictions and bans where appropriate.

Where restrictions are in force, landowners need to contact the Principal Rural Fire Officer to obtain a fire permit to burn.

There are also special conditions around stubble burning and hill and country burning you may need to know about.

For more detailed information view our Hurunui District Fire Plan.

or visit the   National Rural Fire Authority website

A number of other agencies also govern outdoor fires in our district. Click here to find out which Authority you need to contact for a fire permit.


Outdoor fires outside of our authority

If you live in a township, you will need permission from Environment Canterbury to light a fire outdoors.Fireseason

Because the Clean Air Legislation also governs fires, it is a good idea for anyone wishing to light fires to also check with Environment Canterbury as well as the relevant Fire Authority. Year round fire restrictions also apply in those parts of our district owned by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

If you live on or within DOC land, or the 1km fire margins around it or the coast, you will need a permit from the Department to light an outdoor fire.

Likewise, if you are within the Ashley Rural Fire District, you will need a permit from the Ashley Rural Fire Authority.

YOU are responsible for ascertaining which Fire Authority you need to deal with.

Before lighting any fire near a road, you need to consider the safety of road users, and in particular smoke hazard across roadways.  
If your land is more than 600 metres above sea level you should also contact the appropriate roading authority for advice.

Environment Canterbury Regional Council

Outdoor burning on rural properties

For more advice or information:

Hurunui Rural Fire Authority - Principal Rural Fire Officer 03 314 0106  027 586 1733

Ashley Rural Fire Authority - Principal Rural Fire Officer    03 310 7617  021 222 7905

Department of Conservation  03 371 3767  027 281 6709

Environment Canterbury 0800 765 588


Stubble burning

Crop Residue Burning During a Restricted Fire Season

Before Lighting

Lighting, During and After the Fire

Good Management Practice

Hill and High Country Burning

For the Landholder: Burning vegetation in Canterbury Region is a permitted activity (this means that no resource consent is required, Land and Vegetation Management, Environment Canterbury Regional Plan, Part IV) provided that conditions are met.
Hill and High Country Means: Land more than 20 degrees in slope or more than 600 metres above sea level. 

If you answer YES to any of the above and your burning falls within the conditions described in the following brochure then your burning is a permitted activity and you will not need a resource consent.  Resource consent is required if your burning falls outside of these conditions.

Please read the brochure for more information.