Revelations the Mauao fire was deliberately started has left locals disgusted and outraged.
Mauao Area Wildlife Trust chairwoman Julia Graham said she suspected the fire would have been deliberate.
There have been dumb people roaming around this area since New Year, doing stupid things but this really does take the cake. Why would anyone think this a cool thing to do.
"It's a real shame, I can't understand why anyone would want to do that. It's a beautiful mountain, it's sad there are people out there that would do that."
Jef Overwater described those who lit the fire as "absolute idiots".
"There have been dumb people roaming around this area since New Year, doing stupid things but this really does take the cake. Why would anyone think this a cool thing to do."
Clair Hill said she and her friends came down to Mount Maunganui a lot.
"It sucks someone would light it on fire. It's annoying someone would do that when so many people use it everyday."
Ms Hill said the mountain had been affected aesthetically, too.
Read more: Mauao fire deliberately lit
"It's ruined what it looks like with that big brown patch at the top of it now."
Tauranga City Council reopened the Waikorire Track yesterday, after geologists completed rock stability assessment and hazard mitigation of the fire site.