From today anybody wanting to light a fire outside in Northland may need a permit, with a restricted fire season now in place as the region dries up.
The whole of the Far North, Whangārei and Kaipara districts moved into a restricted fire season from 8am today. This means a permit may be required to light a fire and, if granted a permit, people will be required to follow the conditions listed.
Limestone Island in Whangārei Harbour will be in a prohibited fire season - meaning no open-air fires are allowed on the Island.
The private use of fireworks is also banned in the Karikari Peninsula and Ahipara township - including the surrounding areas.
Principal Rural Fire Officer Myles Taylor said the season changes and banning of private use of fireworks have been prompted by the hot, dry and windy conditions.
"These conditions increase the fire danger and make it more likely for a fire to spread and start a wildfire," Taylor said.
Anyone planning a summer holiday in Northland should also obey the fire season and be safe with fire.
"We typically see a lot of tourists in the area during this time of year, so ask them to be fire safe too," he said.
"Go to www.checkitsalright.nz to double check the fire season in your area, or the area you're travelling to, and whether a fire permit is required.
"You can also use www.checkitsalright.nz to find tips on how to reduce the risk of fire, and apply for a permit if needed.''
A total fire ban was imposed across the whole of Northland last summer, but despite that, there were still a number of people who ignored the ban.
Far North Firefighters were called out to 100 blazes during last summer's total fire ban.
Fire and Emergency NZ, can make people pay fire suppression costs that could run into tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
For serious offences, such as knowingly or recklessly lighting a fire in the open air during a total fire ban, offenders can be jailed for up to two years or fined up to $300,000.