Otago's Lakes zone enters restricted fire season

Friday 8 December 2023, 4:45PM

By Fire and Emergency New Zealand



The Lakes zone in Otago will enter a restricted fire season, as of 8am on Saturday 9 December, until further notice.

This zone incorporates Queenstown and Wanaka and joins Central and Upper Waitaki zones in a restricted season. Central and Upper Waitaki zones moved into a restricted season on Tuesday 5 December.

A restricted fire season means a permit is required to light a fire in open air. You can apply for one at

Declaring the restricted fire season, Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s Otago District Manager Phil Marsh says conditions in Otago are rapidly changing.

"This coming weekend and into the start of next week we are looking at a potential ‘spike’ period where forest fire danger will likely reach ‘very extreme’ in Lakes, Central and Upper Waitaki," he says.

"For that reason, we have made the decision to move Lakes into a restricted fire season.

"Requiring people to have a permit before lighting a fire means our local team can be on hand to provide advice about how to safely conduct a burn."

For fire safety tips, applying for a permit, and more information about the activities you can and can’t do in a restricted fire season,  go to