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Rural Fire Provisions

The National Rural Fire Authority is responsible for coordinating the rural fire management activities of New Zealand.

National Rural Fire Authority

These activities include:

  • Regional rural fire control

The management of the Rural Fire Management Code of Practice

  • Rural Fire Authority (RFA) audits
  • Rural fire management training
  • Monitoring fire danger conditions throughout the country
  • Administering the Rural Fire Fighting Fund
  • Providing technical advice
  • Providing grants to Rural Fire Authorities

Rural residents face a higher risk of losing more property from fire than their urban counterparts because fires are not noticed as quickly in sparsely populated areas.

Most rural areas in New Zealand are serviced by volunteer brigades. Although this is an excellent service, the time taken to respond to a fire emergency can be longer. Large areas served, imperfect road conditions especially during winter months, and lack of adequate water supply can delay quick intervention.

Many rural dwellers' livelihoods, e.g. farming, would be seriously at threat if key buildings such as the milking shed, shearing shed or the family home were destroyed by fire.

There are special things rural dwellers need to remember in order to make their properties safer.

These include:

  • signposting your property. Rural property numbers are invaluable for a quick response by emergency vehicles
  • do emergency vehicles have easy access?
  • is there an adequate water supply for use by emergency services?
  • can portable pumps be positioned within 7 metres of open water supplies?
  • is your firewood stacked away from the house?

For more information, contact your local fire safety officer.


Last Reviewed: 26/10/2016