Open fire season starts tomorrow

People are being asked to think twice about lighting fires under Alert Level 3. File photo.

While an Open Fire Season will begin in the region tomorrow, people are being asked to hold off lighting fires under Alert Level 3.

Pumicelands, Central Lakes and Bay of Plenty Coast will be moving to an Open Fire Season effective from 8am on May 6.

All Department of Conservation land remains in a year round Restricted Fire Season.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Steve Webb says while the country is under COVID-19 Alert Level 3, people are asked to continue to hold off lighting any non-essential fires until it is safe to do so.

"Even though we are now in an open season, we ask people to seriously consider whether the fire is absolutely necessary and think about alternatives to burning.

"Lighting fires is likely to generate a 111 call from the public, whether they are out of control or not. This means our firefighters then need to leave their bubbles to deal with a preventable call."

Steve says we've all been asked to be more vigilant than ever to make sure we are stopping the spread of the virus.

"Help us keep you and our firefighters safe during this time and don’t light outdoor fires if you don’t need to."

Remember, no matter what the fire season is, you always need to comply with any council bylaws and regional council rules about smoke and air pollution. Make sure you check with the Council if there are any that apply to you.

For more information on how to reduce the risk of fire visit

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Burning wood

Posted on 05-05-2020 17:44 | By

Remember every ton of wood that you burn adds 2 tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. Mulching is a much better option; it improves the soil, retains moisture and best of all sequesters carbon. Help keep this planet liveable for your children!

Open Fire Season

Posted on 05-05-2020 12:46 | By

Gosh I can’t believe this situation. I come from Auckland, we got rid of this years ago. You can only have a small backyard fire mainly for cooking reasons otherwise its a no go all year round. I have two neighbours in Otumoetai who often have quite large backyard fires. I didn’t report them as I thought "Oh this is Tauranga" where you can get away with lots of things, is their even a rule about it. I also smell household rubbish burning at night lately, obviously we are getting colder but burning rubbish in fire places ie: plastics, butter wrappers or what ever else, the smell is pungent at times.