A derelict truck trailer burst into flames yesterday afternoon under the Tauranga Harbour Bridge.

Fire services were called to the area off Dive Cr under the bridge about 1.50pm where the trailer was on fire on Port of Tauranga land.

Tauranga fire brigade senior station officer Mania Durham said when the fire crew arrived they initially thought a Hazmat truck would be needed to extinguish the blaze because of "exploding" sounds coming from the area.

Mr Durham said it was too early to establish the cause but the fire appeared to be deliberate.

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"It looks like a person has been living in there. There are no wheels on the back of the truck and there was bedding, clothing and wooden pellets inside."

Other articles in the area included spray cans, juice bottles, alcohol bottles, a bong, lighter, food containers and deodorant.

Nobody was seen in the area after the fire, he said.

Mr Durham said the explosions would have come from all the spray cans in the area but luckily the fire did not take much to put out.

Police and fire investigators had been notified and would investigate the cause of the fire, he said.