Far North crews called to over 100 fires in past month despite total ban, severe drought conditions

Far North fire crews are begging locals to be more responsible as the region battles severe drought conditions.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand says it's been called to more than 100 rubbish fires in the region in the past month alone.

A total ban is in place and principal rural fire officer Myles Taylor says it's no joke.

"These are fires that simply should not have been lit in the first place because of the danger," he told Newshub.

Taylor said it's frustrating and is urging people to call out irresponsible behaviour if they see it, adding the fires were endangering lives and property.

"What really annoys me is they just simply don't care what the consequences are going to be.

"They're more interested in their own convenience than worrying about what their impact on their neighbours and other people in the community might be."

Taylor told Newshub they have no idea how to get the message across.

Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai, meanwhile, is pleading with locals to conserve water as drought-like conditions strike the area.

"It's really important to think of water as such a precious resource for human life," she said.

Mai said summer weather is becoming more extreme and no respite seems to be arriving

"It's bizarre in this little country that we've got flooding in the South Island - I really feel for those people - and up here we've got a drought.

"The scary thing is that the forecasts are for this beautiful, hot, sunny weather to continue."

She said the Whangarei District Council is allowing only the most essential water use.