Fire restrictions set to ease for parts of Canterbury

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 13, 2024 |

A significant shift in fire season regulations is set to take place across parts of Canterbury bringing a mix of relief and caution to its residents.

As the clock strikes 0800 hours on Friday, 15th March, the plains and coastal fire zones will transition from a prohibited to a restricted fire season, remaining in effect until further notice.

This change, announced by Fire and Emergency New Zealand, introduces a critical requirement for residents wishing to light an outdoor fire: securing a permit approved by the authority.

District Commander Dave Stackhouse, said “all applications for fire permits in the restricted zones will be assessed, and not necessarily approved.”

Stackhouse said permits that are issued will come with strict conditions, including, in many cases, a mandatory site visit by Fire and Emergency personnel to ensure compliance and safety measures are in place.

Despite this easing in some areas, Stackhouse and his team are urging the community to exercise extreme caution.

The rest of Canterbury, encompassing the hills and high country, the Port Hills, Banks Peninsula, and Christchurch city, remains under a prohibited fire season, banning all outdoor fires to mitigate the risk of wildfires, a constant threat in these regions.

In light of the high fire danger that still looms, some exceptions have been made for specific fire types that do not require a permit, albeit under stringent conditions.

These include gas barbecues, traditional cooking methods such as hāngī, umu, or lovo, and drum incinerators with a lid, offering some flexibility for residents to engage in outdoor activities safely.

For those in the Canterbury region looking to navigate these new regulations, Fire and Emergency New Zealand has provided a resource at

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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