The Christchurch City Council has the authority to impose fire restrictions in its Urban Fire District and Fire and Emergency New Zealand has the authority to impose restrictions in the Rural Fire District.

The Fire Season status for your area can be found on the Fire and Emergency New Zealand website.(external link)

If you see an unattended fire that appears to be threatening property, please call 111 immediately. The public is also asked to report any suspicious activity to the authorities.

Rural Fire District

The Christchurch Rural Fire District includes Banks Peninsula but excludes:

  • The Christchurch, Brooklands, New Brighton, Sumner, Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour, Governors Bay, Little River and Akaroa Urban Fire Districts established under Section 26 of the Fire Service Act 1975; and
  • State areas administered by the Department of Conservation.

Anyone lighting fires still has the responsibility to ensure that it does not spread and cause damage to other property. 

Before lighting a fire, ensure that you have considered current and forecast weather conditions, have adequate fire breaks, have the means to extinguish the fire and are able to supervise the fire until fully extinguished.

Living on a rural property? The Fire and Emergency New Zealand(external link) has some fire safety tips and practical ways to protect your property.

Urban Fire Districts

The Christchurch urban fire districts(external link) are:

  • Christchurch
  • Brooklands
  • New Brighton
  • Sumner
  • Lyttelton
  • Governors Bay
  • Diamond Harbour
  • Little River
  • Akaroa.

Public Notices

These public notices are issued under Section 13 of the Christchurch Urban Fire Safety Bylaw 2014(external link) and Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017.

Christchurch City Rural Fire Area – including Banks Peninsula

With the transfer of responsibility for managing rural fire from Christchurch City Council to Fire and Emergency New Zealand from 1 July 2017, the Council will no longer be imposing fire seasons.  This function will now be carried out by Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) under the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017.

All residents are requested to take care when lighting open fires.  Before lighting fires in the open air, careful consideration must be given to weather conditions, adequacy of fire breaks, availability of water, and the patrolling of fires until completely out.  Fires are not to be left burning after dark.

Note:           

  • Resource Consent conditions imposed by Environment Canterbury may still apply
  • Fires on Public Conservation Land administered by the Department of Conservation may require a permit all year round.

Urban Fire District

Notice of lifting of fire ban in the open air within the City of Christchurch.

Christchurch City Council is lifting its ban on fires in the open air in urban areas.

The ban, which has been in place since Saturday, 14 January 2017, will be lifted from 7am Saturday, 8 April 2017 until further notice.

The existing prohibition on fires in the open air is imposed pursuant to Section 13 of the Christchurch City Council Urban Fire Safety Bylaw 2014 and is in force for properties not zoned residential in Christchurch City and within the Urban Fire Districts of Christchurch, Brooklands, New Brighton, Sumner, Lyttelton, Governors Bay, Diamond Harbour, Little River and Akaroa.

Fires may now be lit in the open air in the urban areas without permit. Restrictions may be re-imposed at a later date if weather conditions create a potentially dangerous fire situation.

Before lighting fires in the open air, careful consideration must be given to weather conditions, the risk of spread, adequacy of fire breaks, availability of water, and the supervision of fires until completely out. Fires must only be lit in daylight hours and must not be left burning after dark.

Note: Environment Canterbury places resource consent conditions on fires in residential areas. Landowners in these areas should contact Environment Canterbury for further information.

Tracey Weston
Head of Regulatory Compliance
Christchurch City Council