Fire Risk on your lifestyle block

It’s important to be prepared for hot, dry and windy conditions to reduce the risk of fires starting and spreading.

As a lifestyler, it’s important to take measures to minimise the danger of wildfires for your property, your livestock, and yourself!

Protecting your property from wildfire

Protecting your property from wildfire can wildly reduce your risk of loss and disruption.  Michael has some top tips to consider:

  • create a 10-meter safety zone around your house, buildings, and boundaries (as recommended by Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ))
  • keep lawns short, and paddocks grazed
  • clear leaves and dead branches
  • stack your firewood well away from the house or sheds
  • clear gutters, spouting, and areas surrounding decks from leaves and debris
    plant low flammability plants and trees
  • avoid the use of chainsaws, lawnmowers, rubbish fires and vehicles with hot exhausts around long dry grass, especially during the afternoon which is the hottest time of day.

    FENZ Fire risk info



Checking if you need and applying for a permit is a simple process.  An illegal fire that spirals out of control can lead to severe consequences and potentially no insurance cover!

Firstly, check the fire season and see if you need a permit by going to During a restricted fire season all fires need a permit – even the small ones.

Notifying the fire service of your burn will help to reduce the number of unnecessary callouts we make each year, this helps to reduce the workload on our firefighters, especially our volunteers who have to leave their places of work to turn out to calls.

    Need a fire permit?


FENZ advise completing burns on your lifestyle block, is best in late summer to early autumn.  This is when temperatures begin to drop reducing the fire danger.  It’s crucial to be aware of the weather conditions in your specific area and understand their impact. Before lighting any fire make sure you go to

It is best to make sure the material you are planning to burn is as dry as possible.  Damp, wet or green recently cut vegetation can cause a lot of smoke, which could cause a nuisance to your neighbours. Be a good neighbour and let them know when you are going to light your fire – this will also help to reduce the possibility of an unnecessary call to 111.

There may be other legal requirements and regulatory approvals needed for a fire under other legislation, such as the Resource Management Act 1991 or Council bylaws. It is your responsibility to comply with all other legislation and get all other necessary approvals.

FENZ Burn-off info

Fire control

It is your responsibility to ensure the fire doesn’t escape and spread so before you start a fire always consider fire control, including:

  • creating a firebreak of at least 3-5 meters around the burn to help prevent fire from spreading. The bigger the fire the bigger the break. This can be as simple as green grass that won’t burn. Be extremely careful if the grass around your fire has dried out, fire will spread through dry grass very quickly, even short grass, if the grass has dried out you will have to either postpone you fire or create a fire break around the burn clear of any combustible material.
  • having the necessary equipment (such as including light-up tools and fire suppression resources) at the ready to ensure the burn off can be carried out safely and effectively
  • keeping an eye on the any wind shifts, change in wind strength and gusts that could compromise your fire
  • never ever using petrol to start a fire!

FENZ Fire safety tips

Keep up to date with the weather

Make sure you watch the long range weather outlook.

NIWA has a useful Seasonal Weather Outlook for three months ahead, updated monthly, which may help with planning ahead.

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