Fire pits and bowls

Home-made or manufactured fire pits (or bowls) are either in, or above the ground and use charcoal or wood as fuel for warmth.

There are rules for using fire pits or bowls during a restricted fire season. 

  • Your fire area must be less than 0.5 square metres.
  • Don’t light your fire within three metres of any part of a building, hedge, shelter belt or any other combustible material.
  • In case your fire gets out of control, you must have a suitable way to extinguish it within five metres of your fire pit/bowl, such as a garden hose.

Follow the guidance below to ensure your fire pit/bowl doesn’t pose a risk to people and properties.

Before you light your fire

Check the fire season - Visit checkitsalright.nz to find out the current fire season for the area where you plan to have your fire. Fire pits and bowls are banned in a prohibited fire season.

 
Open fire season -fires are allowed, but must be safe

 
Restricted fire season - fires may be allowed with a permit

 
Prohibited fire season
- no fires allowed

Other agency requirements - Check council websites for air quality rules, smoke nuisance guidelines and whether this activity is permitted on any public land including beaches. Fire pits are not permitted on Public Conservation Lands.

Safety zone - Put your fire pit on a stable, level, non-flammable surface such as a metal tray, gravel, concrete or dirt.  Keep your fire pit more than three metres from buildings and anything else that could catch alight and burn, e.g. plants, grasses, or branches.

Smoke - Place your fire pit so that smoke won’t impact others.

Extinguish - Keep a garden hose turned on or buckets of water within five metres of your fire pit. You need to be ready to put out your fire and extinguish any hot embers that escape.

Don’t light your fire pit if you’re have any doubts that it is safe. 

When your fire is lit

Fuel - Only burn clean, dry untreated wood or charcoal. Never burn rubbish, plastic, rubber or treated wood. These produce toxic fumes which are harmful to your health and the environment.

Fire control - Your fire should be less than 0.5m2 or 80 cm diameter. Load small amounts of wood at a time and don’t move the fire pit when it’s in use.

Supervise - Ensure someone stays with the fire pit until it’s put out. Have a ‘no go zone’ to keep children and pets safe.

Weather -  If a change to the wind direction or speed makes your fire pit unsafe — put it out.

Be responsible - You need to be able to take charge if there’s an emergency, and should not be impaired. After your fire

After your fire

Extinguish - Leave the fire to burn out. Cover the opening with a mesh screen so sparks, embers, or burnt wood don’t escape and start a fire. When cool carefully place ashes and embers into a metal container and saturate with water.

Stir them and check they are cold before you properly dispose of them. Extinguished coals and ashes should be placed a safe distance from all structures and combustible materials.

Store - If you store your fire pit inside, let it cool down completely before storing.

Dial 111 immediately in an emergency. Anything that could cause loss of life, serious injury or loss of property is a fire emergency.