Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Otago District fire season changes

Otago District fire season changes

Parts of Otago will move back to a restricted fire season at 8am on Tuesday, 21 March 2023, until further notice.

A restricted fire season means anyone wanting to light an open-air fire will need a permit and must follow the conditions of the permit.

You can check the fire danger and apply for a permit at

The areas moving from a prohibited to a restricted season include:

  • Strath Taieri
  • Central
  • Upper Waitaki
  • Naseby

The following areas will move from a restricted season to an open fire season at 8am on Tuesday 21 March, until further notice:

  • Dunedin
  • Clutha
  • Coastal Waitaki

Otago District Manager, Phil Marsh, says that while the fire danger has reduced, the risk of wildfires is always present.

"In autumn we will have more wet weather, helping to reduce the fire risk, however, autumn also has strong winds which can cause fires to get out of control," he says.

"We encourage all people planning on lighting a fire to check if they need a permit, and for the current weather conditions on . If it is windy, please don’t light a fire."

A reminder that open fires are not permitted in the following locations, which are in a year-round prohibited fire season.

  • Ruby Island (Lake Wanaka)
  • Stevensons Island (Lake Wanaka)
  • Mou Waho Island (Lake Wanaka)
  • Mou Tapu Island (Lake Wanaka)
  • Mount Iron (Wanaka)
  • Albert Town Recreational Reserve
  • (Wanaka)
  • Pig and Pigeon Islands (Lake Wakatipu)
  • Queenstown Red Zone (Queenstown)
  • Coronet Forest (Queenstown)
  • Shag Point (Waitaki)
  • Bucklands Crossing (Dunedin)