Our 3-Step Escape Plan

  • First Escape Route
  • Second Escape Route
  • Meeting Place

Use this space to note any additional information about your escape plan, i.e. who will assist

Your checklist
  • Get low

    Smoke is poisonous and more deadly than flames.

    If you breathe smoke for more than a few breaths it can kill you.

  • Be fast

    A house fire can kill you in less than three minutes.

    Don't spend time trying to save possessions.

  • Close doors

    A closed door buys you time.

    It slows down the spread of fire, giving you more time to get to safety.

  • Get out - stay out!

    People have died by going back into a fire.

    Don't leave the meeting place to go back inside for any reason.

Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Restricted fire season for Central Otago and Upper Waitaki

Restricted fire season for Central Otago and Upper Waitaki

Central Otago and Upper Waitaki zones of the Otago District will enter a restricted fire season, as of 8am on 14 September until further notice.

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

Otago District Community Risk Manager James Knapp says this is earlier than usual.

"Central has generally gone into a restricted season in October but it is shaping up to be an extraordinary season, even before the expected El Niño weather pattern takes full effect over the coming weeks and months," James Knapp says.

"Key indicators for a restricted fire season have already been met. This is exemplified by the fact the daily fire severity rating for Cromwell is more than double the 17-year average for this time of year, and well above where it was at the same time in 2015 - the start of the last strong El Niño weather event.

"We need people to plan their burns carefully and contact us early so we can issue fire permits, which can take up to ten days to process," he says.

"Strong dry winds are forecast for Thursday, so any fires that have already been burning this week should be checked and fully extinguished."

James Knapp says people should not be complacent that it is still early in the meteorological "spring", with no substantial rain expected over the coming months leading into summer.

"The days will continue to get drier, and it is expected to be like this for the coming months," he says.

"During previous strong El Niño seasons, these zones have experienced very large fires. The fire history shows that significant fires can ignite and spread quickly in grass and scrub even when the fire danger is moderate, so we must be vigilant when undertaking any activities which could cause fires."

While controlled burns are still able to be carried out with a permit, the need to supervise any permitted burn is essential.

For fire safety tips, and for more information about the activities you can and can’t do in a restricted fire season, go to www.checkitsalright.nz.