Fire crews have contained a half hectare grass fire after battling for more than two hours off State Highway 30 in Horohoro, south of Rotorua.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand deputy principal of rural fire Jarron McInnes said the fire, although permitted, got out of hand due to extremely dry surrounding logs and shrubs. Three trucks were still at the scene, from Lake Okareka, Ngongotahā, and Taupō, while four trucks had left.
Crews would stay on the scene for at least three more hours to ensure it stayed under control. The landowner would bring a digger to create a barrier.
Five trucks initially responded to the call at 10.51am, and two extra water tankers were called in after 1.30pm as water was an issue in the area.
He said this was a reminder that even permitted fires still posed a risk and needed to monitored closely. Rotorua was currently in a restricted fire season which meant only fires with permits were allowed, and permits were only active for five days. If there was no significant rain in the next seven days, McInnes said the area may be put under another total fire ban.
Tomorrow, another Rotorua crew of rural firefighters would be sent to Victoria, Australia to assist with the ongoing bush fire. "It's just bad everywhere," McInnes said.