In this section

We provide for the prevention, detection, suppression and extinction of rural fires in the areas of the District for which the Council is responsible.

words saying rural fire permit

You can talk to someone at Fire and Emergency: 0800 658 628
You can ask Fire and Emergency any questions about permits by email:

Following the merger of rural and urban fire services on 1 July 2017, Fire and Emergency New Zealand is now responsible for rural firefighting, including the issuing of permits.

Planning to light a fire?

If you intend to burn anything you must find out whether you need a permit. Fire and Emergency is responsible for issuing permits.  It’s really important to know what the fire season status is before you think about applying for a permit to burn.

The fire season status is determined by Fire and Emergency. A fire season is either Prohibited Fire Season, a Restricted Season or Open Season. Fire permits are required in a zone which is not in an Open Season status. Permits are not required in an Open Season zone but the responsibility for controlling the fire lies strictly with the person lighting the fire.

Check it’s alright before you light

Fire and Emergency has its own seasonal restrictions and permitting requirements. You also need to comply with Environment Canterbury requirements.

Overgrown vegetation

Fire and Emergency is now responsible for complaints relating to vegetation on properties causing a fire hazard.

To make a complaint visit Fire and Emergency.

Outdoor burning and crop residue burning (stubble burning)

Fire and Emergency has made stubble burning an approved fire in the Selwyn area. This means that no permit is required for a stubble burning in an Open or Restricted Fire Season provided there is total compliance with the Fire and Emergency rules and Federated Farmers of New Zealand guidelines.

If Canterbury is in a Prohibited Fire Season, then Fire and Emergency will consider permits for stubble burning on a case-by-case basis.

Under Environment Canterbury’s Air Regional Plan, anyone carrying out stubble burning must fill out a smoke management plan.

Although stubble burning is an approved activity,  Fire and Emergency says that if you’re concerned about any smoke coming from a fire, you should call 111 and report it.

Remember: Crop residue burning (stubble burning) is common in rural parts of Selwyn at certain times of the year, and these fires can generate smoke. Just because there is smoke coming from a fire in a paddock, it does not necessarily mean that it is not a permitted activity.