Rural / Urban Fires

The Gore District Council is a member of the Southern Rural Fire Authority, the organisation that covers all aspects of fire and fire safety in rural Southland.

We also have a bylaw that covers prevention of vegetation fire in urban areas. Any fire season restrictions imposed on rural areas also have effect on our urban areas.

Current Status: Restricted Fire Season

Fire season rules

Restricted Fire Season – this means you will need a permit to light a fire in the open air. There are some exemptions. They are:

  • Solid Fuel BBQ
  • Braziers
  • Camp fires (50cm x 50cm to keep warm or cook on)
  • Hangi
  • Hedge trimmings (under 2 x 2m and burn out in a few hours).
  • Incinerators
  • Offal Hole

Prohibited Fire Season – this means only gas BBQ’s are permitted but be particularly vigilant. Everything else is not allowed.

Open Fire Season - this means you do not need a permit for a BBQ (including solid fuel ones like charcoal), incinerator, traditional cooking fire or open air fire (eg garden waste).

Fire safety hints

A fire is at all times the responsibility of the person who lit it so always take care and use common sense. Some useful rules are:

  • Have someone watch the fire at all times
  • Check the forecast and make sure no strong winds are forecast while you are burning
  • For a BBQ have at least five metres between you and other combustible material such as building, hedge or fence.
  • Don’t burn close to a public road as smoke may blow across the road obstructing traffic visibility. Alternatively make sure the wind is blowing away from the road.
  • Contact the phone and power provider if you are burning close to overhead power lines
  • Always have enough water on hand  in case things don’t go to plan
  • Make sure the fire is totally extinguished when you finish
  • If something goes wrong call 111

If you would like to apply for a fire permit or find out more about the current fire season status, please contact the Southern Rural Fire Authority on 0800 77 33 63, or visit its website.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 F: 03 209 0357 E: