Restricted fire season called

The Central Otago region adopted a restricted fire season yesterday.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand announced rural and urban areas of the Otago District Central Zone had moved to a restricted fire season until further notice.

The Clutha, Coastal and Lakes zones remain open.

Otago district principal rural fire officer Graeme Still said there were areas of elevated fire risk around Alexandra, Cromwell and Omarama in the Central zone.

"We're all too happy to help people out.

He said in the past six to seven weeks, crews had had to contend with break-outs where residents were not extinguishing fires fully, which was "a bit annoying".

"They have to seek a long term forecast - that's the trick.

"Generally, people are lighting them on the right day, but it's those days afterwards ... and they're getting away on us and causing us a bit of grief."

A restricted fire season means lighting fires in the open requires a permit.

For more information, contact Fire and Emergency on 0800 673-473.

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