FAQs

How do I apply for a permit?

Click on Permits and fill in as much detail as you can as this will help with the application.

How long do permits last for?

Anywhere from 1 day to 6 months, depending on what you’re burning and the type of material you are burning.

How long does my permit take to renew and get to me?

We endeavour to issue all permits within 5 - 10 workings days but some permits require a full inspection and detailed burn plan. We encourage you to plan if you are wanting to burn.

What do I do if I have a permit for one material, but I want to burn another material later in the year?

Any change to your permit will need to be discussed with the Otago Principal Rural Fire Officer as a change of material type may mean a change of conditions

Is it possible to get a permit for the entire year?

Permits are not issued for 12 months due to the fire season status changing throughout the year.

Does it cost for a permit?

No, there is no cost and if you want any advice this is willingly provided for free.

Can I burn if I have a permit pending?

No, you need to read and sign the permit accepting the conditions outlined in the permit before you burn. This will help in achieving a safe burn. These conditions include contacting the Otago, Fire and Emergency New Zealand Principal Rural Fire officer prior to lighting your burn.

Can I burn if my permit is in my email?

No, you need to read and sign the permit accepting the conditions outlined in the permit before you burn. These conditions can include contacting Otago, Fire and Emergency New Zealand Principal Fire Officer prior to lighting your burn.

What happens if I burn without a permit?

It is an offence under the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 to burn without a permit if the fire season dictates that a permit is required. Conditions still apply during an Open fire season and you will need to check this if applicable.

Do I need a permit to burn in an incinerator/Drum?

Yes, but only if the drum or incinerator is such that embers are not contained. In other words if the drum or incinerator is fully enclosed and does not allow embers to escape then it is not classified as a ‘fire in the open air’. 

During a Total Fire Ban can I use a gas stove?

Yes, a gas stove or BBQ is acceptable during a total fire ban. 

Can I light my pizza oven during a total fire ban?

If the pizza oven is fully enclosed and there is no chance of ember transfer, then yes. 

Can I burn on the beach?

No, beaches are protected areas and we will not issue permits for beach fires.

Can I have a bonfire at night?

Bonfire permits are only issued for Guy Fawkes if weather conditions allow and at the discretion of the Principal Rural Fire Officer.

Do I need a permit in an Open Season?

Conditions still apply in an Open Fire Season. If you can’t meet these conditions you do need a permit. Open Fire Season Recommendations

Does holding a permit indemnify me from cost recovery if the fire escapes?

No, full responsibility for the fire lies with the person lighting the fire. The fire lighter must take all precautions and make sure any fire is safe and secure. If a fire escapes cost recovery will be sought for fire suppression. Please ensure you have adequate insurances in place before lighting the fire. 

Do I need the permission of the landowner to light a fire?

Yes, permission must be sought from the landowner to light a fire on their land. 

Can I light a fire on public conservation land?

There are special conditions associated with fires on public conservation land. Public Conservation Fire Conditions 

How do I know what Fire Season applies to me?

To view the current fire season that applies to your area use the Fire Season Map to search your address.

Does the permit have to be in the landowner name?

No, but you do need to seek permission from the landowner but the permit needs to be in the name of the person lighting a fire.

What are the different Fire Seasons?

Open Fire Season

Restricted Fire Season

Prohibited Fire Season