Fire crews were quick to dampen down the flames that quickly spread along a hill in Waikite Valley. Photo/Stephen Parker
Yesterday's scrub fire came as the Rotorua and Taupo District Councils announced they will stop issuing fire permits and will cancel any current fire permits until further notice as dry conditions have caused five vegetation fires in the last two weeks.
Deputy principal fire officer for the Rotorua District Council Richard Horn said they were alerted to the blaze on Hossack Rd about 2.50pm yesterday. The fire had spread about an acre on a hillside of private land.
Fire crews from the council, Lake Okareka Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Rotorua Fire Brigade took up to 25 minutes to put it out.
"At this stage it looks like it could have possibly started by a live wire which had long grass covered over it," Mr Horn said.
"It burnt really fast because of the dry conditions and the wind was driving it.
We had to quickly control it from stopping it crossing the road to the other house," he said. "We've got crews staying dampening down areas as there's quite a few horse [manure] smouldering which has the potential for ember transfer."
Hossack Rd was closed for about 20 minutes while the crews worked on the fire.
Mr Horn said the ban on fire permits was timely as their crews have been busy over the last few weeks.
"We've had four fires in the Waikite Valley in the last two weeks and two of those were last week. One was quite big that we needed a helicopter to help."
The Rotorua District Council Rural Fire Authority said there was a restriction on any burning in the rural areas but it was not a complete fire ban as it did not affect urban areas for now.
Anyone requiring a permit for cultural or health reasons in the rural areas can apply through the council and they will be reviewed on a case by case basis.