Rural vehicle owners need to step up on equipment maintenance after a truck was engulfed in flames, says a senior firefighter.
Firefighters who attended the incident near Whareora hall near the Harris Rd junction on Thursday about 5pm said a lack of maintenance had sparked the fire.
The driver stopped the truck and tried to put out a small fire. But it soon spread and engulfed the truck.
Whangarei Fire Service Senior Station Officer Ron Wilson said a buildup of vegetation, including pieces of hay, between the cab and the trailer unit had become flammable.
"When vegetation accumulates in and around tractors or trucks it becomes a fire risk. It usually ignites when they are away from a water supply to extinguish it. Rural people need to maintain their equipment," Mr Wilson said.
In the latest fire, the 12-tonne truck was already engulfed in flames when Whangarei firefighters arrived, with the tyres and cab burning.
Mr Wilson said the truck was next to a line of trees leading to a house.
A team worked on dousing the hedgerow, while another team set up a portable pump to draw water from a nearby swimming pool.
He said in another incident on Kokopu Block Rd last year, the tractor caught fire due to dry matter sparking on the engine.