Farmers are being warned to take care during burn-offs, as the region dries out in an unusual spell of dry autumn weather.

Overnight on Wednesday, 12mm of rain fell on Wanganui - the greatest amount of rain in a single day since February - but Wanganui's deputy principal rural fire officer, Richard Terrey, said the rain did little more than dampen the ground.

"We need a lot more rain than that," he said.

The district's fire risk was raised to high on April 5, and a restricted fire season is being considered for South Taranaki, Rangitikei and Manawatu, Mr Terrey said.


He said it was particularly dry in the coastal strip from Waverley to Himatangi Beach.

Mr Terrey said rural fire crews had attended several incidents recently where farm burn-offs had got out of control.

"It's unusual to be so dry in autumn, and I think that's why some farmers have been caught out. We really need them to follow the correct procedures," Mr Terrey said.

In the past month, there have been only nine days with any rain, and most of those have been very small amounts.

Until Wednesday, not a drop of rain had fallen on Wanganui since March 26.

Temperatures have been consistently peaking above 20C in the first 10 days of April, with April 2 recording a mild 25.2C.

Federated Farmers Wanganui provincial president Brian Doughty said, while some decent rain would be welcomed by farmers, "no one is panicking yet".

"Yes, it's very dry, and farmers are certainly noticing it.


"However, grass growth was exceptional over summer and you really have to take the good with the bad," Mr Doughty said.

MetService is not offering any relief for the district, with not a drop of rain on the horizon.