The Queenstown Lakes District Council has yet to decide whether to prosecute or recover more than $16,000 from the group of people believed to be responsible for a fire on Cecil Peak on Sunday night.
Council senior communications adviser Michele Poole said the fire cost $16,000 plus GST to fight - $13,000 of that the cost of helicopters used to assess the area on Sunday evening and dampen hot spots on Monday morning.
The remaining $3000 was the cost of fire crews used to monitor and dampen hot spots, she said.
The fire began just after 8pm on Sunday, but burnt itself out on Monday, burning about 10ha.
Six English nationals living in Queenstown, all aged 28 or 29, contacted police on Monday afternoon and visited the station that night.
A 29-year-old man told police the group travelled to Cecil Peak by boat intending to have a barbecue and a few drinks.
However, an unsupervised gas cooker appeared to have started the fire, which quickly got out of control.
The group left the area by boat.
The man claimed to have told someone at the Queenstown wharf to get the police or harbourmaster to call him.