Farmers are hoping to retain the right to burn off crop residue under the new national Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) fire authority due to be set up mid-year.
The central zone includes Alexandra, Clyde, Cromwell, Wanaka, Lake Hawea, Naseby, Ranfurly, Kurow, Otematata, Omarama and Middlemarch.
There has been a total fire ban in the Otago District Central Zone since 18 December 2020.
However, a recent rainfall has reduced the fire danger levels which means the area can now join the rest of the Otago district in a restricted fire season.
Deputy principal rural fire officer Bobby Lamont says the restricted fire season means people in the Otago District Central Zone may be able to light an outdoor fire if they apply for a permit and follow the conditions listed on it.
“Being in a restricted season also gives land managers and contractors the ability to undertake any necessary fire related work on their properties, if they have a permit,” Lamont says.
“While we are changing seasons from prohibited to restricted, we still need our communities to remain vigilant about wildfire risks.”
“We are likely to see high temperatures, and a dryer than usual summer so people should think about the activities they are planning,” he says.
“If the danger is red, keep your tools and machinery in the shed to avoid a spark and starting a fire.”
He says that if you are planning a fire, you should check the local fire danger via www.checkitsalright.nz and apply for a fire permit.
Fire and Emergency will continue to monitor fire conditions in case changing weather conditions necessitate a move back to a prohibited fire season.