A wildfire is an unplanned fire that starts in an open space, such as a gorse-covered hillside or forest. Wildfires become a hazard when they threaten nearby people or property.
Living in a house surrounded by bush can be peaceful and beautiful - but it can also be risky. Wildfires periodically burn large areas of gorse or scrub-covered hillsides in the Wellington region, often close to areas where people live.
As the suburbs expand into the hills, more people and property can be at risk from wildfires. The risk is higher if the safety zone around houses and properties is small. A safety zone is any area that will not carry fire, such as a firebreak, concrete path or road.
About 20% (165,500 ha) of land in the Wellington region is at HIGH risk from wildfires. Areas most at risk include the southern and western edges of Wellington City, Ngaio and Ngauranga gorges, the eastern hills of the Hutt Valley and hills near Eastbourne and Wainuiomata, and some areas along the Wairarapa coast.
A wildfire map can be obtained from Greater Wellington Regional Council.
Wildfire hazard factsheet (174 KB PDF)
Forme Consulting Group, 1997. Recent urban interface wildfires in the Wellington Region. Tawa: Forme Consulting Group
Forme Consulting Group, 1997. Interface fire hazard susceptibility: Study area 1 Wellington City, Study area 2 Hutt Valley (including Wainuiomata and Eastbourne), Study area 3 Porirua City. Tawa: Forme Consulting Group
Forme Consulting Group, 1998. Rural Fire Hazard in the Wellington Region. Tawa: Forme Consulting Group