The current extended period of hot, dry weather and a lack of rain has left much of the countryside at very high levels of fire risk.
The council's deputy principal rural fire officer, Richard Horn, said existing permit holders were being contacted by council staff to advise that current permits have been suspended with immediate effect, until further notice.
"The fire risk across the district is now rated as 'extreme' and there is the real possibility of a major fire breaking out somewhere unless we get some serious rain in coming days.
"The countryside in particular is tinder-dry and it wouldn't take much for a fire to get out of hand. So we're urging people not to light fires of any type other than gas barbeques, to keep children away from matches and lighters, and to be very careful with disposal of cigarette butts.
The council's rural fire fighting unit has successfully dealt with a number of vegetation fires already this summer, some of which had put people and property at serious risk.
Mr Horn said there was a real cost to the community to fight fires, and resources could get tied up when they were needed elsewhere for more serious structure fires or vehicle crashes.
Mr Horn said the council would consider any one-off fire permit applications for special cases such as for stock disposal or for a tangi, and people should contact Rotorua Lakes Council in those circumstances.
He said the new restrictions did not apply to Rotorua's urban area at present although residents and businesses also needed to be very careful around residential and commercial locations in the current dry environment.
More information on fire permits and advice on fire safety is available from Rotorua Lakes Council by calling (07) 348 4199.