Otago moved to an open fire season this week.

This means permits will no longer be required in most places when lighting open-air fires in the Central Otago, Queenstown Lakes, Dunedin, Clutha, and Waitaki districts.

A restricted fire season remains for all commercial forestry areas, with 1km fire safety margins.

The fireworks ban imposed in December has now been lifted.

Fire and Emergency district manager Phil Marsh said the change was enabled by cooling temperatures, more morning dew and moisture in the air.

“This reduces the risk for wildfire, although, it does not eliminate it.”

People should still light fires safely, keep them small, have extinguishers on hand and check the wind forecast.

Places with a year-round prohibited fire season are: Ruby Island, Stevensons Island, Mou Waho Island, Mou Tapu Island, Mt Iron, Albert Town Recreation Reserve (all Wanaka); Pig and Pigeon Islands, Queenstown Red Zone, Coronet Forest (all Queenstown); Shag Point (Waitaki); and Bucklands Crossing (Dunedin).