The Wairarapa Rural Fire District (WRFD) is the rural fire authority for the Wairarapa region under the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977. The WRFD is responsible for the prevention, control and suppression of all fires within the Wairarapa rural areas. Open air fires in the Wairarapa NZFS Urban Fire Districts are managed by the respective councils.
The NZFS is responsible prevention, control and suppression of structure fires in both urban and rural areas. For open air fires, the NZFS has a memorandum of understanding with the WRFD that it will attend rural fires free of charge for the first hour, after that it may charge to remain and assist with extinguishment.
The fire seasons in the urban and rural Wairarapa fire district can vary throughout the year depending on weather and fuel (vegetation) conditions.
|Open no fire permit is needed to light a fire in the open air|
|Restricted a fire permit is required to light a fire in the open air|
|Prohibited means a ban on the lighting of any fires in the open air|
|Split There are different fire seasons across areas of this district.|
Regardless of the fire season status, whether or not you have or need a fire permit, if you light a fire outside, you are responsible for it. If it gets out of control and needs to be extinguished, there could be attempts to recover any incurred costs from you.
To see the current fire season status click here.
The South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) enforces a restricted fire season throughout the year in the Greytown urban fire district. That means if you want to light an outdoor fire, including the following outdoor activities, you need a fire permit:
- non-gas barbecues
- charcoal barbecues when using paper and wood
- camp fires
- cooking fires
- rubbish fires
Fire permits can be obtained from the Greytown Library or SWDC offices. Failure to obtain one is an offence against Council bylaws and the Forest and Rural Act 1977. All fires in the open must be extinguished by nightfall and must not create a smoke nuisance. At high-risk times the Council may change the restricted status to a prohibited season, banning outdoor fires completely. For a full copy of the council bylaw, click here.
Greytown Urban Fire District
The WRFD operates all three fire seasons defined in the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977.
During an open season, fires outside the NZFS urban fire district may be lit in the open air with no requirement for a permit. When a fire is lit, it must be done in a safe and considerate manner that does not cause a nuisance to your neighbours.
During a restricted fire season, a fire permit must be obtained from the WRFD. For contact details click here.
At times of high fire risk, the WRFD will enforce a prohibited season, meaning a total ban on lighting any fires. During a total fire ban, if you see smoke or fire, ring 111 immediately and tell them.
Due to the size and variable country in the Wairarapa, the WRFD may at times operate under a split season, ie certain coastal areas having a fire ban, while the majority of the district is on a restricted season.
For more info on rural fires, vist: