Tauranga City Council, New Zealand has reviewed its outdoor fire safely bylaw in partnership with the New Zealand Fire service to set additional safety restrictions and declare a total fire ban when the city is at risk.
Mayor Stuart Crosby said the council had extended its outdoor fire bylaw to include a notification system to alert key authorities to potential fire risks.
“This was the initial reason why the bylaw was developed, as the rural fire service is not able to issue an urban fire ban,” he said.
Under the old bylaw, outside of a fire ban, people needed to ask permission from the council if they wanted to light a fire in a public place.
The new bylaw adds extra precautions, including gaining approval for open fires on private property after dark unless the fire is contained in a receptacle, such as a drum, or it is a barbecue or traditional cooking fire like a hangi.
“We believe that the new bylaw is a good balance between protecting peoples safety and minimising risk, without being too much of the ‘fun police’, particularly with social things that people value like fireworks and barbecues,” Crosby said.