There's a total fire ban in Rangitīkei from 8am on Wednesday, February 12, and all existing fire permits have been suspended.

The declaration of a prohibited fire season for the Rangitīkei, Manawatū and Palmerston North districts follows a huge vegetation fire at Santoft, west of Bulls, at the weekend.

"A prohibited fire season means no fires are permitted as the fire danger is too high," principal rural fire officer Bradley Shanks said.

"During a prohibited fire season only gas and charcoal barbecues can be used.

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"The fire on Brandon Hall and Pukepapa roads over the weekend is an example of why people need to be extra careful in these hot and dry conditions."

In extreme conditions it only takes a spark to start a wildfire. That spark could come from a site of a historic controlled burn or equipment such as a lawnmower, grinder, welder or even a plough.

"If anyone has had a controlled burn in the past two months, please check it is fully extinguished as these have the potential to flare up," Shanks said.

"Making sure your roofs and gutters are clear of dead leaves, debris and pine needles will help protect your home as these can create fuel for a fire. Move anything that could burn, such as mulch, leaves, firewood piles, away from exterior walls, decks or porches."

More information on how to reduce the risk of fire is online at www.checkitsalright.nz.