Having a Fire

Prescribed burn-offs

Fire is an efficient and economical way of clearing land on farms. It is also important it is contained within the area to be burnt and does not present any danger to life, neighbouring property or the environment.

Farmers and other rural landowners can ensure the burn is effective and safe by:

  • knowing their legal requirements
  • ensuring the burn is planned and the land prepared
  • understanding burning techniques
  • recognising safety issues.

To help you plan your burn:

  • talk with¬†Northland Fire and Emergency New Zealand
  • read A Landowners Guide to Land Clearing by Prescribed Burning

Farm and land operations

Fires can start from the smallest spark. So you need to be very careful when using machinery during extreme fire danger periods.

Fires can start easily from, for example, slashers or mowers hitting stones, or exhausts when driving through or parking in stubble or long, dry grass. On extreme fire danger days, it is important to:

  • stop using welders, chainsaws, slashers and reducing some tractor operations
  • ensure diesel trucks with exhausts higher than the cab have spark-arrester shields fixed to the exhaust when carting hay
  • harvester operators are aware of the conditions outside their air-conditioned cabs
  • pay special attention to checking your machinery‚Äôs bearings and moving parts.

You should also carry appropriate fire extinguishers, shovels, or knapsack sprayers during high-fire danger periods.

Farm business planning

An up-to-date business plan documents the big picture of where you want your business and your family to be in the future. It also identifies short- and long-term goals to achieving your plan.

How you manage risk is also an important part of a business plan and adds value and reliability to your business.

When developing or updating your farm business plan, make sure you include a plan to protect your home, property, and assets from the risk of fire.

Assess the risk of fire to your farm

When assessing the risk of fire to your farm, you will need to consider the risks:

  • inside your home
  • to your home from vegetation fire
  • to your farm buildings and machinery
  • during farm operations
  • during controlled burn offs.


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