Two helicopters from Paihia were at the scene of a major vegetation fire at Taipa Point on Tuesday evening within 25-30 minutes of the alarm being raised.

They brought the blaze, which Mangonui Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer Ant Pederson estimated at eventually covering four or five hectares, under control before ground crews from Mangonui, Taupo Bay and Karikari took over.

Mr Pederson said the pilots had only had an hour or so of light available to them, and did a good job before darkness would have forced them to land.

"They were going full noise," he said, adding that the fire had been accessible by unsealed road, but it had been "a bit challenging".

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The Mangonui appliances were back at the station by a little before 11pm, the rural fire crews returning yesterday to check for hot spots.

"We were lucky there was no wind," Mr Pederson added, although there were no houses within the area.

Fire investigators were looking for the cause yesterday, but he suspected that fireworks would be well down the suspect list.

He believed the more likely cause would have been a discarded cigarette butt.

"Whatever started it, it will be down to some sort of human action," he said.