Light an outdoor fire

If you want to light an outdoor fire, check if you need a fire permit. From 1 March 2018, Fire and Emergency New Zealand issues fire permits in Wellington.

To find out more and apply for a fire permit, visit their website or call 0800 658 628.

We are responsible for responding to smoke nuisance incidents in Wellington. If you have a complaint about a smoke nuisance, please get in touch with our Contact Centre by email or phone 499 4444.

Please be courteous of your neighbours 

Fireplaces both indoor and outdoor have the potential to create a nuisance for your neighbours. Nuisances are covered under Section 29 of the Health Act (1956) and through the Wellington City Council Consolidated Bylaw.

Under the Wellington City Council Consolidated bylaw; no occupier of any premises may permit smoke, noxious fumes or other matter to be emitted from any outdoor fire, chimney, fireplace, barbecue, brazier or traditional cooking fire or other device on such premises to such an extent as to:

  1. Cause a nuisance to persons in the vicinity.
  2. If, in the opinion of an enforcement officer or a fire officer, a nuisance is being caused, the enforcement officer or fire officer, as the case may be, may require the nuisance to be abated immediately.

Good practice tips for operating nuisance free fires:

Take care that your flue is not positioned where a neighbour can be affected by your smoke.

When lighting a fire, make sure you: 

  • Use enough kindling. 
  • Don't put too much firewood in at first. 
  • Stack wood loosely in the firebox so air can circulate. 
  • Always use dry wood. 

Once alight, make sure you:

  • Keep the fire burning brightly. 
  • Keep the air control open for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Burn smaller logs rather than trying to burn a single, large log. 
  • If you add logs, open up the air control to “high” for at least 20 - 30 minutes before turning down. 
  • Be careful not to block air supply to the base of the fire with a badly positioned log. 
  • Don't damp down the fire. 
  • Don’t burn rubbish in the fire.