A dry Wakatipu as seen from Coronet Peak last week. Photo by Christina McDonald.
It has been an ''odd'' summer.
A spin-off from this was a later-than-usual prohibited fire
season, Department of Conservation Wakatipu rural fire
officer Jamie Cowan said.
The prohibited fire season came into force from midnight on
Friday and this year fireworks are specifically prohibited.
Mr Cowan said the definition of a fire in the Forest and
Rural Fires Act was vague but most councils included
fireworks and this year so had the Queenstown Lakes District
''We have had several high-profile fires caused by
fireworks,'' he said, including one about two years ago on
Letting off fireworks during the prohibited season is now a
Most years, the prohibited fire season comes into force
However, rain had been a noticeable feature of the first
months of summer in Queenstown Lakes.
''All that rain means that there's a lot of fuel around as it
dries out,'' Mr Cowan said.
''There's a lot of growth,'' he said, referring to the long
grass which had become a fire risk.
Wanaka was far drier than Queenstown, he said.
Gas or electric barbecues are permitted, as are cooking fires
in approved, permanent, purpose-built surrounds. All other
fires are illegal.
Fireworks may not be lit anywhere in the district during a
prohibited fire season.