Northlanders wanting to burn rubbish or vegetation will now need a permit as a restricted fire season kicks in tomorrow.

The restriction - which covers all of Northland and comes into effect at 8am tomorrow - means people will need a permit from Fire and Emergency New Zealand before lighting a fire in the open air.

The move comes after fire crews from around the region have been battling out of control burns and rubbish fires.

Northland principal rural fire officer Myles Taylor said Zone 1, the top of the Far North, was already in a restricted fire season but now the rest of the Far North, Whangārei and Kaipara districts were also included.


"The fire danger is increasing dramatically with the weather we've been having. People need to take extra caution and if they want to have a fire they need to get a permit," he said.

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Firefighters were busy last week combating two large fires - a 200sq vegetation fire in Ruakākā and a rubbish fire south of Kaikohe, which spread into dense gorse and had to be put out by a helicopter using a monsoon bucket.

Kaikohe fire chief Bill Hutchinson said the restriction had come into play a little earlier in the year than usual but because of the dry weather, it was needed.

"Conditions have got quite volatile out there now and in the last two or three weeks there have been a lot of controlled burns getting out of control so I think it is timely," he said.

Hutchinson said, in the past couple of weeks, the brigade had attended about five out of control fires - most of which were rubbish fires, along with a couple which started of as controlled burns.

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