Avoid lighting outdoor fires in lockdown

Help keep essential staff safe by not lighting outdoor fires during lockdown.

Update: Wednesday 1 September 2021

As of 1 September, our rules under the Canterbury Air Regional Plan allow outdoor burns on properties over two hectares in a Clean Air Zone. This means we typically see an increase in outdoor burns from this date.

However, Environment Canterbury and Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) are asking Cantabrians to wait until we are back in Alert Level 2 before lighting any outdoor fires.

This is to help keep our firefighters safe in their bubbles while we are in Alert Level 3 and to avoid unnecessary call-outs, particularly for our volunteer firefighters at this time.

Update: Tuesday 24 August 2021

We’ve received a large number of calls from people concerned about outdoor fires during Alert Level 4.

Even if the fire is under control, the smoke often results in 111 calls which mean firefighters need to deal with an avoidable call and risk exposure to COVID-19.

Warm, windy weather poses increased risk

Avoiding outdoor fires is particularly important at the moment due to the warm, windy weather forecast for the region for the rest of this week.

Any escaped fire, however minor, puts fire crews at risk. Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) is asking you to check carefully to make sure any old fires are completely out, and don’t light any new fires while we are in lockdown.

Please do your bit and keep everyone safe by not lighting outdoor fires, including vegetation and garden waste, during this lockdown.

Burning in urban areas

Although rules are restrictive, they’re there to keep yourself and your neighbours safe from hazards, smoke and fire.

If your property is under two hectares (approximately five acres), you cannot burn outdoors, even if you are in a rural area. This is because burning on smaller properties increases the risk of fire to surrounding properties and the risk to health from smoke and fumes.

Find out more about outdoor burning rules

Essential burning

If you do need to urgently burn for biosecurity reasons, please call the FENZ Southern Communication Centre first on 03 341 0266.

For all other information regarding our services during lockdown, see COVID-19 key updates from Environment Canterbury.