Fire permits and fire restrictions Thames-Coromandel District, including public conservation lands, forests, and offshore islands, is in a Restricted Fire Season, as of 8 February 2018. Restricted Fire Season: During a restricted fire season, you will need a permit for all open air fires. As of 1 July 2018, permits can be arranged through Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Farmers and lifestyle block owners are urged to take extra care when burning large piles of wood. Burn early in the day during settled weather and light winds, and watch the fire until it is out. Unattended fires can escape very quickly and can cause serious damage. Escaped fires can require emergency response to suppress, which can result in a considerable cost to the landowner. If your concern is a fire risk, you can let Fire and Emergency New Zealand know about your concern by completing the online form available at www.fireandemergency.nz/at-home/overgrown-sections/ or calling 0800 336 942. Please note that Fire and Emergency is only able to take action to deal with genuine fire hazards, and not where the property is just unsightly or presents a health hazard. Special Note: Pursuant to Section 43 of the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 any person lighting a fire in the open air in rural areas (rural areas are defined in the Fire Service Act 1975) is liable for all suppression costs should the fire escape. A fire permit does not indemnify the permit holder from any liability for costs or damages caused by the fire. You can learn more about how rules are set in rural areas at the Fire and Emergency New Zealand www.checkitsalright.nz website. Report smoke If you see any unexplained smoke or a wild fire dial 111. Fire prevention Fire and Emergency New Zealand is seeking the cooperation of rural land-owners who have high voltage lines crossing their properties to carry out inspections to ensure vegetation is not growing through the power line corridor. Land owners are encouraged to contact their power provider if they have any queries. A reminder to all property owners - if we can't get to you, we can't help you. Our fire trucks sometimes can't get access to driveways due to overhanging branches or narrow gates and fencelines. They must have width and height clearance of at least four metres. We need you to consider from a fire-wise perspective if that rubbish from the bach clean-up would be better taken to the recycling/transfer station rather than being burned. This is also a requirement in the Waikato Regional Plan - head to the Regional Council's website to learn more about what you can and can't burn. Escape plan All householders are encouraged to develop their own escape plans, in the event of a fire in the home. Should you require more information, please contact Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Fire and Emergency New Zealand has a great website on fire safety at home and at work. We recommend visiting it and developing a fire safety plan.