Fire Restrictions and Alerts
The total fire ban that was in force over the last month has been lifted. This means Kāpiti residents can light open fires, providing they have a permit, and umu; hangi and incinerators are allowed, as long as they comply with Council's Fire Prevention Bylaw 2010.
While the Total fire Ban has been lifted, the district is still under a Restricted Fire Season. This means, until we get more consistent rain, fire permits will not be issued for open-air fires on beaches.
View information about obtaining a fire permit here.
Kāpiti Coast District Rural Fire Danger
|GREEN ALERT - LOW
|Fire risk is LOW. Open air fires can be lit with a permit
|BLUE ALERT - MODERATE
|Fire risk is MODERATE. Open air fires can be lit with a permit. Home owners are advised to mow lawns and clear away vegetation near dwellings.
|YELLOW ALERT - HIGH
|Fire risk is HIGH. Open air fires can be lit with a permit in strict compliance with all permit conditions. Home owners are advised to clear away rubbish and vegetation near their dwelling and make a defensible space. Consider evacuation plans.
|ORANGE ALERT - VERY HIGH
|Fire risk is VERY HIGH. No new fire permits will be issued. Rural Fire Force on standby notice. Clear a defensible space around your home and prepare contingency plans in the event you are required to evacuate.
|RED ALERT - EXTREME
|Fire risk is EXTREME. All fire permits are suspended until further notice. Rural Fire Force on standby. Clear a defensible space around your home and be prepared to move if required to do so.
Fire Danger Status is assesssed by the Kāpiti Coast Principal Rural Fire Officer and relates to the level of fire danger in rural areas of the District. The homeowner responses listed in the above table are recommendations only.
Restricted Fire Season
In a restricted fire season, any burning of open air fires in urban and rural areas (including the beach) require a permit from the Council. Permit applications can be requested from the Council during normal office hours.
If you are unsure of the fire season, contact the Council.
Prohibited Fire Season
A prohibited fire season creates a total fire ban. No fires are to be lit in the open air. The only activities permitted during a prohibited fire season are gas-operated barbecues and domestic fireplaces (inside the home). The prohibited fire season is declared when certain fire danger thresholds are reached, generally from mid to late December through to early March.
The prohibited fire season is advertised in The Dominion Post and in local papers, and Total Fire Ban signs are erected within the Kāpiti Coast District. Any person unsure of the fire season can telephone the Council.
People are encouraged to get any necessary burns completed well before a prohibited season comes into effect.
Fire Safety and Prevention
Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of fire:
- Develop a 20 metre buffer zone around your home.
- Do not store flammable material such as firewood around the side of your house.
- Plant trees well clear of power lines.
- Keep grass mown short around the house.
Be prepared for fire:
- Have a family plan for escaping from your home.
- Install smoke alarms for early detection of fire.
- Rural homes: know your RAPID number to advise the operator if a 111 call is made, and ensure the RAPID number is easily seen from the road.
- Attach a hose(s) to your house hose tap(s).
- Report any suspicious activity.
The Kāpiti Coast District Council is a Rural Fire Authority. As such the Council is responsible for ensuring the functions of the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 are carried out within the Kāpiti Coast District.
To administer this function the Council has appointed a Principal Rural Fire Officer (PRFO) who is responsible for ensuring that the necessary management functions are in place and properly carried out.
This includes monitoring the fire risk on a daily basis during the fire season and taking the necessary actions to reduce the risk and severity of fire. the PRFO is required to manage any rural fires and have fire suppression capabilities available. The Council has one rural fire force, the Te Horo Rural Fire Force.
The Council has agreements in place with the New Zealand Fire Service and other Rural Fire Forces. It also has the ability to call on an aerial fire fighting capacity through the use of helicopters and monsoon buckets.
Rural Fire Plan
Rural Fire Authorities are required by the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 to have an operational fire plan.
Each year the Kāpiti Coast Rural Fire Authority is responsible for reviewing and updating the annual Rural Fire Plan. The Fire Plan is a statement of fire control policy, chain of command and procedures by the Rural Fire Authority.
The fire plan includes preparedness procedures, standing instructions, the command structure, information on personnel and equipment and procedures for various aspects of rural fire.
National Rural Fire Authority
For further information, visit the National Rural Fire Authority website, www.nrfa.org.nz