Fire and Emergency New Zealand and Scion have released the 2021/22 Wildfire Summary Report to provide data and insights to inform our planning for future wildfire seasons.

The 2021/22 Wildfire Summary Report is available on our website(external link), along with a summary of findings.

National Wildfire Manager Tim Mitchell says that the report provides a wealth of valuable information and allows Fire and Emergency to have robust data to support our wildfire reduction and readiness activities. 

‘The report’s weather conditions analysis and incident statistics helps us build on our operational risk reduction and readiness measures and identify areas for improvement.

‘It helps inform how we work with our land management partners across the likes of farming, forestry and conservation. It also feeds into our marketing campaigns focused on educating the public and decreasing wildfire incidents across Aotearoa,’ says Tim.

Due to the prevailing weather patterns, the 2021/22 wildfire season was not as significant in terms of both the number of fires and total area burnt compared to the previous year. There were 4,417 fires and 4,864 ha burnt during the 2021/22 season, a decrease compared to 2020/21 and longer-term averages.

Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay, Mid-South Canterbury, Nelson Marlborough, Otago and Wellington all experienced a decrease in both the number of wildfires and area burnt. Southland, Taranaki, Waikato and Waitematā, on the other hand, saw an increase in both the number of wildfires and area burnt compared to the previous year.

Pile Burns and Cigarettes, Matches, Candles were the top two causes of total wildfires.

The weather and corresponding fire dangers during the 2021/22 season were largely driven by the prevailing weak La Niña pattern which saw moist east to north-easterly conditions, bringing periodic wide-spread rain to large parts of the country and drought to parts of both Northland and Southland.

Summaries for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 years are underway and will be shared once complete.

Check out the full 2021/22 report.(external link)

For more information, reach out to

The report itself is commissioned by Fire and Emergency New Zealand and undertaken by Scion, a Crown research institute that specialises in research and science for the forestry sector.


Last modified: