A wind change during a controlled burn-off near Cromwell appears to have caused the death of a Central Otago man.
Senior Constable Chris Blackford, of Queenstown, says the man had been caught in smoke when the wind shifted.
He was found dead at the rural burn-off on a property at Northburn, near Cromwell, about 6.30pm yesterday.
Paramedics arrived by helicopter, several kilometres inland from State Highway 8, south of the Cromwell turnoff to Tarras, but the man was already dead.
The man's name would not be released until next-of-kin had been advised.