Wellington City Council enforces a restricted fire season throughout the year. That means if you want to light an outdoor fire, you need a fire permit. Failure to obtain one is an offence against Council bylaws and the Forest and Rural Act 1977.
You can obtain a permit for a maximum period of 1 year. Applications require an inspection and are processed within 7 working days.
All fires in the open must be extinguished by nightfall.
At high-risk times the Council may change the restricted status to a prohibited season, banning outdoor fires completely.
Fire permit not required
Gas-fuelled barbecues and charcoal barbecues started with a liquid accelerant and fuelled by charcoal briquettes only, can be used anywhere at any time, no permit required.
Fire permit required
You need a permit for any open fire, including the following outdoor activities:
- non-gas barbecues
- charcoal barbecues when using paper and wood
- camp fires
- cooking fires
- rubbish fires
Apply for a fire permit
The Council processes the following types of fire permits:
- Beach - free
- Urban areas - $25
- Developers - $50
Fire Permit Application
Fire permit applications usually take 5 - 7 working days to process and can be paid for in the Council Service Centre at 101 Wakefield Street.
Rural fire permits
The Wellington Rural Fire Authority processes rural fire permits - to find out more and apply for one, go to: Wellington Rural Fire Authority
The only beaches where you can have an open fire or non-gas barbecue (with a permit) are those at:
- Houghton Bay
- Princess Bay
A location inspection is required for each coastal fire permit application for these sites.
Outdoor fire tips
- Get a permit in advance
- Light fires in a clear area
- Do not light fires in strong winds
- Supervise the fire at all times
- Always have a water supply for fire-fighting handy
- Use a sturdy metal container with good ventilation
- Use a fine mesh guard over the container to prevent burning debris and embers from escaping
- Burn only dry plants, leaves and branches, wood, paper and cardboard
- Do not burn plastics or newly cut vegetation