Fire Safety Advice – Lighting Bonfires


Bonfires pose a high fire risk, especially when conditions are dry. It’s important to check whether you’re allowed to light a bonfire in your area and, if you are, to make sure you take some fire safety precautions.


Are you allowed to light a bonfire?

  • Bonfires are restricted in many parts of New Zealand. To find out whether you can light a bonfire, go to or contact us.
  • If you’re allowed to light a bonfire in your area, you may need to first apply for a fire permit. Make sure you check the fire season and, if in doubt, contact us.
  • If you’re not the property owner, check you have their permission before you apply for a permit.
  • If you’re in an urban area, it’s unlikely you’ll be allowed to light a bonfire. Check with your local council.

The number one rule

If in doubt, don’t light a bonfire.


Tips to light bonfires safely

  • Light dry clean vegetation such as untreated wood and browned off vegetation.
  • Supervise the fire at all times.
  • Do not burn at night to avoid emergency calls. Make sure the fire is settled for nightfall.
  • Don’t light a bonfire in windy or dry conditions.
  • Light your bonfire in a wide-open area. Keep away from anything that could catch fire.
  • Supervise children and always have an adult light the bonfire.
  • Keep a shovel, water, hose or fire extinguisher handy.
  • Never use an accelerant, such as petrol, to start a bonfire. People may get burnt, and the fire may get out of control.


information courtesy of Fire and Emergency New Zealand

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