Rural Fire


​​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 incidences of unwanted fires and the associated risk to life and property.

CURRENT STATUS: Restricted Fire Season effective from 8am,​ 22 January 2019

Fire and Emergency New Zealand declares a restricted fire season, effective from 8am, 22 January 2019 in the following area(s):

  • Rural and Urban Buller
  • Rural and Urban Grey
  • Rural and Urban Westland

A permit is required to light a fire in open air in these areas.​ To check the fire season status and apply for permits please go to 

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

Further information can be obtained from

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.  

Objectives and functions

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

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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Page reviewed: 21 Jan 2019 12:34pm