A large scrub fire at a Rissington farm yesterday afternoon was a controlled burn-off supervised by NZ Forestry Management and Bay Forest Rural Fire.

Forest Management New Zealand co-CEO and forest manager Steve Bell said the fire, which was lit just after noon, was burning vegetation and scrub on the 60ha site.

An aerial defoliant had been sprayed in October last year but those involved had been waiting for suitable conditions to burn off the remaining vegetation.

Yesterday three Hawke's Bay helicopters were on-site; one to ignite sections and two with monsoon buckets to dampen areas, Mr Bell said.

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By about 5pm the helicopters had left and only small areas needed to be dampened.

Mr Bell said some areas might smoulder for a few days.

Napier Fire Service station officer Peter Draper said the fire service was not involved, as the organisations were using all their resources.

The Fire Service received a callout but after speaking with Forestry Management, understood their services were not needed.

Mr Draper said there had been a bit of ash fallout in Napier but that was of no great concern.

He said if anything dropped into anyone's backyard and ignited, they should phone 111.