Emergency services were called to two suspicious fires in Hastings overnight.

A small rubbish fire was reported on Napier Hastings Expressway at 11.27pm yesterday and a tree was found alight in Flaxmere at 4.16am today .

A Hastings Fire Brigade spokesperson said one fire appliance was sent to a small rubbish fire on the side of the expressway in Flaxmere.

A passer-by had extinguished the pile of rubbish on fire on the side of the road by the time emergency services arrived, he said.

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Several people were allegedly witnessed running from the scene.

One Hastings appliance also attended a tree on fire in a public grass area on Caernarvon Drive in Flaxmere.

Firefighters spent about 40 minutes dousing the flames which nearly destroyed the tree but damaged nothing else, the spokesperson said.

Both incidents were thought to be intentional and reported to police. It is unknown whether they were related but police were always made aware of all suspicious fires in order to investigate them and look for patterns, he said.

A police spokesperson said police were called to both fires and the investigation into the Caernarvon Drive fire is ongoing.