Brief spurts of rain yesterday and the rain expected today and over the weekend will not be enough to quell the fire threat, Rotorua Lakes Council deputy principal fire officer Richard Horn said.
"Anything [rain] we get is probably only going to last a matter of hours or days as opposed to weeks. We need a significant amount of rain.
"The fire service has had to respond to a number of small calls last week, it's been [bad] enough that you have to send a fire appliance, and if there is something major elsewhere it means we are short.
"We've been advising people not to burn in urban areas but next week we will be going back and checking fire levels and deciding if we need to install a total fire ban for urban and rural areas," he said.
Rotorua's fire danger is set at "extreme" and fire permits, including existing permits, have been revoked in rural areas throughout Rotorua.
Local weatherman Brian Holden said it was devastating to have three consecutive dry summers.
"In January 2013 we had 12.5mm of rain and normally for the month of January we get about 100mm. In January 2014 we had 29mm of rain. This January we have had 26mm of rain, so three years in a row we have been well below par.
"Any rain is welcome, but it is basically going to get sucked out of the soil straight away."
Mr Holden said 11mm of rain fell up until 6.30pm yesterday.
Last week Rotorua Lakes Council urged residents to help conserve water.
The council's water operations manager Eric Cawte said if water use continued to increase, water restrictions may be considered.
Water restriction status signs have also been installed in high-profile locations in Whakatane and Ohope.
Whakatane District Council infrastructure general manager Tomasz Krawczyk has advised residents to start voluntary water use reductions.