Whanganui's continuing dry weather has seen the district move to a restricted fire season.

This means that as of 8am on Monday, people will need a permit if they want to light a fire outside. And the Whanganui deputy principal rural fire officer Gavin Pryce said conditions were so dry, he was unlikely to be issuing fire permits any time soon.

"It will be on a case-by-case basis. If you apply for a permit because you have some rubbish on your property that you want to burn, you're not going to get a permit for that. That sort of thing can wait until conditions are better," Mr Pryce said.

"It's become really really dry, really really fast."


He said most districts in the lower North Island - from Kapiti through to South Taranaki - had jointly made the decision to introduce a restricted fire season.

In Whanganui, the fire restrictions apply to a horizontal strip of land that runs between Fordell in the east and Mowhanau in the west, including the urban Whanganui area. The areas either side of this strip have permanent fire restrictions because of the large amount of forestry land. The far north of the district, which is less dry, still has an open fire season.

Permits are not required for gas barbecues and cookers, incinerators or hangi and umu – but Mr Pryce urged people to be cautious when using these.

On Friday, the district's fire danger was lifted from moderate to high - just a week after it had moved from low to moderate.

As of Sunday, Whanganui had experienced 31 dry days in a row. A dry day is when less than 1mm of rain falls in a day.

The total rainfall in the urban Whanganui area over the past month is 1.4mm.

Mr Pryce said some showers were forecast for Whanganui this week, but he believed they wouldn't be significant enough to change conditions.

"Unfortunately the long-range forecast doesn't show us much rain."