Rural areas around Christchurch need a lot of rain during the next few weeks to dampen down fire risk areas, the Fire Service says.
A total fire ban for the Rural Fire District, including Banks Peninsula, has been imposed and will stay until further notice.
Principal Rural Fire Officer Darrin Woods said even recent rain wasn't enough to make any real difference to the fire risk.
It would take steady rain over days, if not weeks, to ease the underlying drought conditions and reduce the fire hazard enough to lift the ban.
The long-range weather forecast was not predicting this type of rain until well into the New Year as the region continues to be influenced by an El Niño weather pattern.