Firefighters were still at Taupō district's main landfill on Sunday, more than 36 hours after a fire broke out.

The fire was first spotted overnight on Friday. A rescue helicopter flying overhead raised the alarm.

A Fire and Emergency media spokeswoman said about midday on Sunday four trucks were still on site managing hotspots.

She said a helicopter was used on Saturday but reported it was no longer needed for aerial drops as of 7pm that night.

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At 1am on Sunday, firefighters at the scene reported they were dousing hotspots.

At the height of the fire, there were two fire trucks, one tanker and one four-wheel drive.

On Saturday, the Taupō District Council confirmed helicopters with monsoon buckets and the Taupō Fire Brigade were on site at the fire at the Broadlands Rd landfill on the eastern outskirts of Taupō.

The fire was under control but helicopters are still ferrying water to the landfill.

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Council communications manager Lisa Nairne had said the fire could take some time to fully put out.

"Rubbish fires are really deep-seated so it could take a while to extinguish completely."

She said the alarm was raised just after midnight on Friday when the fire was spotted by the crew of Taupō's Greenlea rescue helicopter.

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The fire is in one of the landfill's general waste areas and at its peak, covered an area of about 200m by 80m.

Nairne said the cause was not yet known but there would be an investigation.

The landfill was closed to the public yesterday and today.

According to the NIWA fire weather index, the fire risk in Taupō this week was generally rated as high, but extremely high in scrub areas, high in forests and moderate in grass areas.

- Additional reporting Cira Olivier