Wildfire Readiness and Prevention

Destructive wildfires are more frequent and causing more damage in many parts of the world, including New Zealand, as shown by the recent Ohau, Tasman and Port Hills fires.

Warmer, drier and windier areas are at higher risk from wildfires but fires are not limited to those areas. A wildfire also doesn’t need to be large to be extremely damaging, which is why those living in rural properties, lifestyle blocks, and houses on the urban edge need to be prepared.

Scientific research has shown that individual landholders can play key roles in protecting their homes and property, by creating defensible space.

In the first phase of this year's wildfire campaign we want to encourage people to take two key actions to help defend their homes and property from wildfire. These are:

  • Keep grass short around buildings
  • Keep gutters and areas around decks clear of dead leaves, debris and pine needles.

The key message of the campaign is: if you’re not ready, the risk is always extreme. We've creatively used a Fire Danger index sign, commonly known as the half grapefruit, as the campaign imagery.

The campaign was launched on social media on 4 October 2021, and will now appear in print, online news sites, radio and online targeted to rural and semi-rural audiences, and will run until mid December.

Please find below campaign resources you are welcome to use through your channels alongside the following key message:

Help defend your home and property from wildfires by keeping grass short and clearing dead leaves and debris from gutters and around decks.

Proposed post copy: Help defend your home and property from wildfires by keeping grass short and clearing dead leaves and debris from gutters and around decks. Learn more about how you can get prepared at checkitsalright.


From mid Dec, the first ads of phase two of our wildfire campaign, focused on prevention, are live. This phase of the campaign aims to get everyone to check their local fire danger on checkitsalright.nz before lighting any type of fire this summer.

We’ll be promoting our “Outdoor Fire Safety with Cully” video series featuring Christian Cullen. The four new videos will educate the public on checking and acting based on the local fire danger level and how to safely light specific recreational outdoors fires, namely Backcountry Campfire, Backcountry Cooker, Beach Bonfire and Backyard BBQ safety. Learn more about the series -  ‘Outdoor Fire Safety with Cully’.From Dec 27th, the kiwi, the tui and the pīwakawaka (fantail) will again front our campaign, along with the Fire Danger index sign. They’ll help us to remind people that the wrong decision can not only endanger life and property, but also our environment and the creatures that call it home. It can take native bush hundreds of years to completely recover from a fire. The key message of the campaign is: Protect their homes, and ours.

The native birds creative will appear on TV (mainstream and online), on social media, radio, online, on street signage and at petrol stations until the end of Feb 2022. These new video and social media assets will be available on our campaign page on the Portal from mid-December.

Wildfire Prevention TV ad

Wildfire Prevention social media

Proposed post copy: Protect their homes, and ours. Before you light any kind of fire outdoors, check the local fire danger at www.checkitsalright.nz 

Wildfire Prevention Fantail 1080x1080px [jpg]

Wildfire Prevention SocialStory 1080x1920px

Key messages:

  • Before you light, always check the local Fire Danger at checkitsalright.nz.
  • If the local fire Danger is High, Very High or Extreme, don't light.
  • If the Fire Season is Restricted, you will need a permit for most fire types.
  • If the Fire Season is Prohibited, there is a total fire ban in place.
  • Also remember to check the local council rules, there are often total fire bans on beach areas.