A debrief was held yesterday with all fire brigades and agencies following the fire on State Highway 25a last week with local firefighting chiefs giving a warning as we head towards summer.
"Be bloody careful," says Onemana Rural Fire Chief Jo Adams.
"We are facing the possibility of a long dry summer, we have to be aware and alert."
Whangamata CFO Nigel Airey says last week's fire was a great opportunity for brigades and forestry company Rayonier to work together and learn, and a debrief allowed them to see what went well and what needed improvement.
The brigades of Onemana Rural, Whiritoa and Whangamata also joined to begin the task of emptying the Whangamata Community Pool ready for refilling.
Nigel said this was another chance to test the compatibility of equipment between all brigades.
Crews thanked New World Whangamata owner Neville Singh for the provision of food as they worked to put out the fire.
Nigel added his thanks to drivers and passengers who were caught up in the incident for their patience.
"We had that many personnel on the road that the safest option was to have the road closed."
Among those waiting for hours were students of Whangamata Area School en route from Tairua and Onemana on the school bus.
Both Nigel Airey and Jo Adams are warning of the tinder-dry conditions expected this summer.
"From an urban perspective, it's about keeping those sections down in unoccupied dwellings and checking your gutters for debris," said Nigel.
Jo Adams said the volunteer brigade at Onemana had been busy training, testing equipment and preparing and was not looking forward to fireworks season.
"Our river levels and our water supplies are very low, and it's only going to get worse. We just have to be vigilant. Fireworks night could prove to be a nightmare if we don't get rain."