Fire restrictions have ended in the Whangārei District and much of the Far North — but remain in force across drought-hit Kaipara.

Whangārei's fire season status was changed from restricted to open at 8am on Wednesday, along with zone 2 of the Far North. That means a permit is no longer needed in those areas to light a fire outdoors.

A permit is still required, however, in Kaipara and zone 1 of the Far North, which covers all areas north of Taipa and the Herekino Harbour including the fire-prone Karikari and Aupōuri peninsulas.

Northland principal rural fire officer Myles Taylor urged Northlanders to exercise common sense.


''Just because the restrictions are off doesn't mean you shouldn't be vigilant about what you're burning and where you're burning it. You should also check the wind conditions and that nothing else can catch fire. Don't burn just because you can.''

Meanwhile, firefighters battled a flurry of scrub fires in Ōmanaia, Taheke and Horeke on Tuesday afternoon.

None was especially serious but the timing — all three started in just over an hour from about 2.10pm — stretched volunteers around the Mid North with appliances sent from as far away as Kerikeri.

Taylor said the fires showed an ''underlying dryness'' persisted despite recent rain.

Northland-wide fire restrictions were imposed on November 26 with a total ban declared on January 13.