A series of grass fires on Waimarama Rd left emergency services scrambling on Monday.

Police and fire trucks were called to the roadside near the intersection of Waimarama Rd and Ocean Beach Road just before 10am.

Jean Te Huia was travelling in convoy with her daughter on the road when they came across a small fire.

Her daughter put it out with her drink bottle and they started up along the road, only to see another fire, with this spreading quickly through the grass.


"There was a gentleman attempting to put it out with his coat. He was whacking it."

She said they tried to help him but it was too big. "It had spread right over the hill, across the road and it was blazing."

P & T Contractors Ltd drilling supervisor, Stu Marsh was working in the area when they were alerted to the fires. He said they ran down with a fire extinguisher.

Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer, Gordon Foster said there were four fires in total, two of which merged and one which had already been extinguished.

They are investigating where it started and how.

Foster said if it had been dryer and windier, things could have been a lot worse.

Police said a single lane was open to the public while they managed the situation.

Restricted access lasted about 30 minutes, before the fires were put out by 11am.


While the cause of the fire is unclear, they are not investigating it as suspicious.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Hawke's Bay area commander, Ken Cooper said fire danger is rapidly increasing across the region with temperatures forecast to be in the high 20s during the coming week, this will raise the vegetation fire danger across all areas especially in Central Hawke's Bay.

"A combination of dry vegetation and wind conditions gives us a high ignition potential in cured grass. If a fire started the rate of spread will be rapid," Cooper said.

He urged the public to be diligent when working around dry vegetation and to report any signs of fire.

"It is critical that the fire crews are responded early."