Selwyn District Council has declared a prohibited fire season with effect from today.
The Selwyn district extends from the coast south of Christchurch to Arthur's Pass in central Canterbury.
The district's rural fire officer, Douglas Marshall, said low rainfall in the had made vegetation very dry.
His said given the area's very dry soil, this meant fires could start easily and quickly get out of control.
No outdoor fires can now be lit in the Selwyn district, and the burning of crop stubble is forbidden.
All fire permits previously issued by the council are cancelled.