Today is the last day you can light a fire in Whangarei and Kaipara without permission.
From midnight tonight the districts will be in a restricted fire season meaning residents must hold permits before lighting any matches.
Principal rural fire officer Kevin Ihaka said it was usually this time of year those districts went to restricted fire seasons.
In order to get a permit "people will have to explain to us why their fire can not reasonably be delayed", he said.
The fire service would be looking at "if it is a fire that could wait until the conditions are less dangerous".
However, you do not need a permit if you are having a cooking fire, hangi or barbecue as long as it is on private land.
Whangarei and Kaipara now join the Far North and Auckland who both went into restricted fire seasons in December.
The season so far had not been unusually dry with some rain looking likely during mid January.
Part of the reason for the restrictions is so there are less false alarms from well-meaning residents, Mr Ihaka said.
People should also remember if the fire service is called as a result of a fire lit by a resident, that resident could be found liable.
Mr Ihaka said he knew of a couple in Nelson, who did not have insurance, who had been fined about $1 million.
It is possible the regions may move to a total fire ban later that was still "some way off", Mr Ihaka said.
"We could be in extreme conditions heading towards the end of summer". The driest part of the season was usually around February.
-For more information about the restricted fire season, including applying for a permit, visit: www.havingafire.org.nz.