The Hawke's Bay Regional Council doesn't want marathon runners inhaling clouds of smoke from burn-offs, or anyone for that matter.

About 6000 people are expected to take part in the Air New Zealand Hawke's Bay International Marathon on Saturday with athletes making their way along various courses from Marine Parade to the new finish line at Elephant Hill Estate and Winery in Te Awanga.

Although burn-offs are allowed where landowners are redeveloping orchards and vineyards or carrying out disease control, the council says people need to consider others as well as the activities when they are planning and performing a burn-off.

Regional Council regulation group manager Liz Lambert says she has little tolerance for poor or inconsiderate practices.

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"Burning is not permitted if it is likely to drift towards built-up urban areas," she says.

"Landowners could also consider the impact on public events, such as this weekend's Air New Zealand Hawke's Bay Marathon, where over 5000 people will be taking deep breaths outdoors on Saturday, with the effects of smoky air on the lungs of participants, their supporters and spectators, as well as the wider community."

Regional Council's climate and air quality scientist, Dr Kathleen Kozyniak, says the key is to make sure any permitted burn-off is only getting rid of dry wood, because dry wood produces a lot less smoke than wet and green material.

"We also recommend checking the weather before lighting up, for wind speed and direction, not burning on still winter mornings and being especially considerate of neighbours," Kozyniak says.

The regional council says materials which can never be burnt are treated timber or fibreboard, plastics, rubber products and tyres, batteries, materials containing bitumen, used or waste oil.

Other products include insulated electrical cables or coated wire, motor vehicle components, mechanical or electrical equipment, asbestos or radioactive material, and domestic or industrial rubbish.