A fire that burned up to 180 hectares of scrub, bush and forest in Kaipara is being treated as suspicious.
The fire started in Department of Conservation land at Kellys Bay on the Pouto Peninsula, about 50km southeast of Dargaville, around 8.30am yesterday.
Four helicopters and 80 ground crew battled to control the fire which by this morning had burnt through 180ha. A skeleton crew remained at the scene last night, but more DoC staff and forestry crews were called in to deal with the blaze early this morning after it jumped a fire break.
Police have confirmed they are treating the blaze as suspicious.