Rural Fire


Fire responsibility and management on the West Coast

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) coordinates and manages all activities relating to fires on the West Coast, including being proactive in ongoing training for fire fighters.

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R​​ural fire season status

CURRENT STATUS: Open Fire Season effective from 8am,​ 3 April 2019

Fire and Emergency New Zealand West Coast revoked the restricted fire season to an open fire season from 8am on 3 April 2019. 

You can light a fire in open air without a permit – as long as you do so safely, have permission from the relevant land owner or occupier, and Fire and Emergency New Zealand hasn’t prohibited the lighting of fires in open air in the location of your proposed fire.

​Further information can be obtained from

​​​Fire permits

The requirement for permits to light fires in the open are determined by Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ). The principal reason for requiring permits is to reduce the number of unwanted fires and the associated risk to life and property.


During a Restricted Fire Season, you can apply for a permit by:
​Phone​0800 658 628
​Address​12 High Street, Greymouth 7805

Remember, a permit must be produced for inspection when required by an authorised person.


Note: The above requirements are for fires in the open only. If you are installing a fire and heating appliance into a house or other building, a different type of fire permit is required as part of your building consent. Please click here for more information.  

Fire ha​​​zards

If there is a property in your neighbourhood that you believe is a health or safety hazard due to an untidy section, you might first try talking to the property owner.

If this does not resolve the problem, contact Council, phone 03 769 8600 to report a concern that does not present a fire risk, such as hoarding and other nuisance issues including vermin control.

If your concern is a fire risk, you can let Fire and Emergency New Zealand know about your concern by completing the online form available on the FENZ website or calling 0800 336 942.  Please note that Fire and Emergency is only able to take action to deal with genuine fire hazards and not where the property is just unsightly or presents a health hazard​.​

Objectives and functions of FENZ

The principle objections of Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) are:

(a) to reduce the incidence of unwanted fire and the associated risk to life and property:
(b) in relation to its functions:
     (i) to protect and preserve life; and
     (ii) to prevent or limit injury; and
     (iii) to prevent or limit damage to property and land; and
     (iv) to prevent or limit damage to the environment.

Functions of FENZ include:

  • Issuing fire permits for lighting fires in the open.
  • Monitoring the fire risk and determining when it is too hazardous to light fires in the open.
  • Determining the fire season for the West Coast and New Zealand (and when permits are required).
  • Education and training of fire forces.
  • Maintaining an operative Fire Plan, weather stations and a West Coast wide fire danger warning system.
  • Fighting and putting out wild fires and other types of fires that get out of control in the open.


The overall responsibility for fires in the open sits with Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ).

As part of the transition arrangements over the 2017/2018 year, fire suppression support is currently provided through Council’s contractors. Fire-fighting plant and equipment previously owned by Council has been transferred to FENZ for their continued use locally. 

The total Rural Fire Zone area managed by FENZ within the Grey District and the total extent of area compared to the total West Coast Fire District is shown below:



Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services operate and assist under Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Volunteer brigades are located in:

  • Greymouth
  • Cobden
  • Runanga
  • Dobson
  • Blackball
  • Ngahere
  • Moana
  • Taylorville (auxiliary brigade) 


​Grey District Total Area​350,900ha
West Coast Rural Fire Zone​2,272,850ha
Grey District Council Rural Fire Zone​263,900ha
Buller District Council Rural Fire Zone​217,800ha
Westland District Council Rural Fire Zone​70,150ha
​Department of Conservation Rural Fire Zone​1,721,000
Page reviewed: 12 Aug 2019 4:30pm