Twelve fire crews battling a scrub fire north of Whangamata for three hours this morning now have it under control.

The blaze, about 6km north of Whangamata, was reported about 7.25am and closed a portion of State Highway 25, between Whangamata and Hikuai near Toko Rd at Onemana.

The road is now open under stop/go traffic management.

Northern fire shift manager Craig Dally said the fire was "almost all out now".

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"It's all under control, we're just dealing with a few hot spots now."

The fire north of Whangamata. Photo / Thames-Coromandel District Council
The fire north of Whangamata. Photo / Thames-Coromandel District Council

Ed Askew was on his way to work in Whangamata from Pauanui when he was stopped by the blaze.

"When we first pulled up [there were] strong orange flames just above that tree. When we first came here you could basically see how they'd jumped the road and the smoke went further to the left into the forest.

"It was pretty impressive, pretty scary after you've seen the photos of San Francisco," Askew said.

The fire was now classified a third alarm which saw crews from around Coromandel and Bay of Plenty descend on the scene.

Emergency services at the scene. Photo / Alison Smith
Emergency services at the scene. Photo / Alison Smith

While the 600sqm fire wasn't huge, it had become a bit more complicated to tackle after it jumped SH25.

Two helicopters arrived at the scene before leaving and returing later with monsoon buckets.

Dally said at the height of the fire there were 12 fire crews in attendance.

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That lead to the closure of the road. NZTA asked motorists to avoid the area, delay travel where possible or make use of the detour.

Southbound traffic should use State Highway 25A, State Highway 26 and State Highway 2, before rejoining SH25. Northbound traffic should use the same route in reverse.

The fire north of Whangamata. Photo / Thames-Coromandel District Council
The fire north of Whangamata. Photo / Thames-Coromandel District Council

A bus carrying Whangamata Area School students from Tairua to Whangamata were let through the scene about 10.30am after being stranded since 8.30am.

Two Onemana crews were first to the scene and were since being helped by crews from Whangamata, Tairua, a tanker from Paeroa and a command unit from Greerton.

Nearby Opoutere School had posted on social media that buses would be running "very late" due to the road closure and downed powerlines.

The Thames-Coromandel District Council said Civil Defence had advised everyone to stay away.

Some nearby residents may experience power outages.

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