The Christchurch City Council has the authority to impose fire restrictions in its urban and rural fire districts when required.

A Prohibited Fire Season for the Christchurch City Council Rural Fire District will come into effect from midnight on Saturday 11 February 2017. This effectively brings the entire Christchurch Territorial Area under a total fire ban.

A prohibited fire season took effect in the Christchurch Urban Fire Districts from midnight on Saturday 14 January 2017.

Anyone observing a fire should call 111 immediately as this gives the fire services a chance to contain the fire while it is still small. The public is also asked to report any suspicious activity to the authorities.

Rural Fire District

The Christchurch rural fire district includes Banks Peninsula but excludes:

  • The Christchurch, Brooklands, New Brighton, Sumner, Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour, Governors Bay, Little River and Akaroa Urban Fire Districts established under Section 26 of the Fire Service Act 1975; and
  • State areas and any associated Fire Safety Margin administered by the Department of Conservation.

Living on a rural property? The National Rural Fire Authority some fire safety tips [PDF 761KB] and practical ways [PDF 1.2MB] to protect your property.

Urban Fire Districts

The Christchurch urban fire districts are:

  • Christchurch
  • Brooklands
  • New Brighton
  • Sumner
  • Lyttelton
  • Governors Bay
  • Diamond Harbour
  • Little River
  • Akaroa.

Public Notices

These public notices are issued under Section 13 of the Christchurch Urban Fire Safety Bylaw 2014 and Section 22(2) of the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977.

Christchurch City Council Notification of Prohibited Fire Season

Christchurch City Rural Fire Area – including Banks Peninsula

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to Section 22(2) of the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 a Prohibited Fire Season will be imposed from midnight on Saturday 11 February 2017 in the Christchurch City Council Territorial Area (all areas other than gazetted Urban Fire Districts or State Areas), and will remain in place until further notice.

During the currency of this prohibition the lighting of all fires in the open air is banned, including barbecues and other such devices which use or contain solid fuels. Gas fuelled barbecues and gas cookers are exempt from this notice.

Important note

The prohibition on the lighting of fires in the open air imposed by the Christchurch City Urban Fire Safety Bylaw 2014 from midnight Saturday 14 January 2017 remains in force.

Darrin Woods
Principal Rural Fire Officer


Urban Fire District

From midnight Saturday 14 January 2017 - until further notice.

Notice of prohibition of fires in the open air within the city of Christchurch.

(Imposed pursuant to section 13 of the Christchurch urban fire safety bylaw 2014).

Notice is hereby given that the prohibition on fires in the open air over those parts of the district which are fire district declared or constituted under Section 26 of the Fire Service Act 1975 is imposed by Clause 13 of the Christchurch Urban Fire Safety Bylaw 2014 for the period from midnight Saturday 14 January 2017 until further notice.

The prohibition applies to those parts of the district which are a Fire District declared as constituted under Section 26 of the Fire Service Act 1975 and these are Brooklands, New Brighton, Sumner, Lyttelton, Governors Bay, Diamond Harbour, Little River and Akaroa and Christchurch Urban Fire Districts (where District is defined as meaning “for which the Council is the territorial authority”). The Council may extend the prohibition.

During any such prohibition no person shall light any fire in the open air and no person being the occupier of any premises shall cause, permit, or suffer any such fire to be lit there or to continue to burn there. The penalty for such an offence is a fine of up to $20,000.

The purpose of the prohibition is to conserve public safety by preventing danger from fire.

Note: The Council may at any time, where in its opinion special reason exists or may exist to prevent the outbreak or spread of fire, prohibit the lighting of fires in the open air for any specified additional period of time within all or any districts of the city as listed above.

This prohibition does not apply to:

  1. Any barbeque, pizza oven or hangi provided –
    1. it is not likely to constitute a danger to any person or property by reason of its location, risk of spread, inadequate containment, prevailing wind or otherwise; and
    2. there is immediately available a pressurised water supply connected to a hose; and
    3. it is adequately supervised.
  2. Any fire in the open air in respect of which the occupier of the land upon which the fire is situated has obtained from the Council an exemption from the prohibition.

Exemptions may, under Section 15 of the Bylaw, be granted in exceptional circumstances in that:

  1. the fire is urgently required to prevent, reduce or overcome any hazard to life, health, property or the environment; and
  2. the use of fire is the most efficient and effective means to reduce any risk of hazard to life, health, property or the environment.

Applications for exceptions may be made in writing to

  • the Regulatory Compliance Unit, Civic Offices, PO Box 73049 Christchurch 8154
  • or at any Council Service Centre.

The issue of an exemption is not a legal defence against claims for damage arising by reason of the fire. The responsibility for its control and liability for any damage which may arise lies with the person lighting the fire.

Tracey Weston
Head of Regulatory Compliance
Christchurch City Council