Mackenzie District mayor Graham Smith says a fire that swept through Lake Ōhau burned "completely out of control" on Department of Conservation (DoC) land because it was poorly managed.
A fire at Lake Ōhau ripped through about 1608ha after beginning on Sunday morning, and was still being fought on Monday.
The blaze was tracking south into grassy farmland and DoC land on Sunday afternoon.
Five weeks ago, a fire near Lake Pukaki, near Twizel, burned through more than 3500ha of land - much of it wilding pines - on August 30.
Smith has joined a growing chorus of voices calling for better management of DoC land to prevent such blazes from burning out of control in future.
He said he would be raising the issue with the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage.
"It is a huge risk to neighbouring properties to have areas of land with that much vegetation and fuel for fires. I would like to see better management practises."
Sage on Monday visited Lake Ōhau village and said she remained focused on the losses people faced in the immediate aftermath of the fire.
However, she said there would be a need for a conversation about "land management in the bigger picture" in future.
The current Government had put $100 million over four years into controlling wilding conifers, Sage said, and on conservation land these had been substantially reduced.
"Federated Farmers, I think, was making a push for free grazing," she said. "Nature doesn't start fires except by occasional lightning strikes, it's managing human activity that is the key."
North Otago Federated Farmers high country chairman Simon Williamson, a farm owner between Omarama and Twizel, said he had been woken by news of the Lake Ōhau fire after 3am on Sunday.
"My neighbour across the road was evacuated ... we were very apprehensive."
Williamson said the retired land the fire was spreading through was a "huge risk" that had not been addressed.
"All this ground that's been locked up and hasn't been grazed is becoming a hazard to life. The fuel loading in the land is just huge."
Williamson said having two fires in the past month highlighted the dangers of retired land and wilding pines.
"People are saying they want to lock everything up and create a safe habitat, but you're not locking it up when it's not being grazed or managed ... you get one spark and it spreads and burns everything in sight."
Williamson said he heard of three or four farms that had lost livestock or had to move it.
"It's really disappointing. We've been warning of this for a long time ... once upon a time it was all grazing land.
"There's a mindset that grazing is bad and it kills wildlife, but the reality is these massive blazes are going to happen more and more and spread further and further."
Queenstown-based climate scientist Jim Salinger said Otago's fire season was now prolonged and pronounced due to climate change.
"The fire season is certainly getting earlier.
"These are not spring temperatures, these are summer temperatures ... in Queenstown today it was eight degrees above average."