If you live in an urban area you may need to apply for an urban fire permit from FENZ and resource consent from ECan.

Check the latest information from Fire and Emergency NZ on fire season restrictions and fire permit requirements.

You can also talk to someone at FENZ: 0800 658 628 words saying urban fire
You can also ask FENZ any questions about permits by email: firepermit.enquiry@fireandemergency.nz .

Urban areas

If you live in an area that is mainly used for residential, industrial or commercial purposes you may need to apply for an urban fire permit from Fire and Emergency and resource consent from Environment Canterbury. You still need to comply with any Environment Canterbury requirements relating to smoke nuisance and discharges to the air, even if you are issued with a fire permit by Fire and Emergency.

Environment Canterbury outdoor burning measures:

Outdoor burning on properties under 2 hectares (in both rural and urban areas) is not allowed without resource consent, unless it’s for cooking.

  • You cannot burn outdoors, even if you are in a rural area.
  • The only exception is outdoor cooking – including BBQs, pizza ovens, hangi or umu – if the smoke is not offensive or objectionable beyond your property boundary.
  • A resource consent is needed for burning green waste.
  • Outdoor burning is allowed in some exceptional circumstances for firefighting training, some NZ Defence Force functions, biosecurity reasons and community events.

FENZ Fire Permits

Types of fires that you need a permit for can vary across different areas, however in a restricted season you need a permit to light a fire in the open air.

Fires in open air which require a permit include:

  • camp fires
  • bonfires
  • rubbish fires
  • braziers

Fires which don’t need a permit (even during restricted and prohibited seasons).

  • enclosed gas BBQs
  • charcoal BBQs
  • approved incinerators
  • permanent outdoor fireplaces
  • cultural fires, eg hangi or umu

Outdoor burning on properties over 2 hectares

You can burn vegetation (excluding standing crop residue), paper, cardboard or untreated wood, but you must meet these conditions:

  • Burning is 100+ metres upwind and 50+ metres in any other direction from neighbours
  • The material being burnt is dry
  • Smoke is not blown towards a township
  • The material being burnt is from your property and/or only one of your neighbour’s properties
  • Smoke does not cause a nuisance beyond your property boundary
  • A smoke management plan is completed if the burn will last 3+ days or for any crop residue burning
  • Burning is between 1 September and 30 April (only applies in clean air zones)
  • Liquid fire accelerant used does not exceed 10 litres
  • Burning is not within 100m of a national grid power line or substation (unless you have permission from the owner)


If the smoke is causing a safety concern (such as smoke across a road), please call 111. If your complaint is about a smoke nuisance at a neighbouring property, please call the Environment Canterbury pollution hotline: 0800 765 588.