The onset of warmer weather means a restricted fire season
will come into force for the entire Clutha District.
Principal Rural Fire officer Neville Hills said the start of
the restricted fire season meant that permits were required
for all fires in the open air, except for barbecues, cooking
fires, and burning of agricultural crop residues, stubble or
straw, provided they met certain criteria.
However, Mr Hills said none of the fires listed as exceptions
could be lit in high or gusty wind conditions. In all cases,
the person lighting the fire must remain present until the
fire is out or cannot spread.
''Anyone else intending to light a fire in the open, in
either rural or urban areas, needs to get in touch with
council and give at least five working days' notice to obtain
a fire permit,'' he said. This gave time for a rural fire
officer to inspect the site, check the conditions and give
advice to the applicant.
The issuing of permits would take place during office hours
until 3pm on December 21, then recommence after the
Christmas-New Year break from January 15.
Anyone wanting to hold a New Year's Eve bonfire will need to
apply for a permit before December 21.
Mr Hills said that even with a permit, it was the
responsibility of the person lighting the fire to ensure it
did not spread. Prosecution and cost recovery was still
possible if a fire got out of control, even if the fire was
of a type allowed to be lit.
Further advice and fire permit application forms are
available from the Clutha District Council main office and
council service centres.
- Restricted fire season rules
Permits are required for all fires in the open air, except
for the following:
• The burning of agricultural crop residues,
stubble or straw, provided a fully ploughed firebreak of at
least 5m has been created first.
• Barbecues lit in properly constructed
containers which are fuelled with gas, solid or liquid fuel.
• Cooking fires at camping sites lit within a
concrete or stone surround and with no less than 3m of ground
surrounding the container cleared of all combustible