An out-of-control burnoff in Napier on Saturday has sparked a warning from emergency services.
Fire crews from Napier, Hastings and Napier rural spent more than two hours dousing the six by 15 metre fire on a steep hillside on Poraiti Rd from about 10.20am to 1pm.
Napier Volunteer Fire Brigade station officer Peter Draper said fire crews were called to a vegetation fire that had spread on to a hillside and into some gorse, trees and a bit of grass.
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"Someone was doing a bit of scrub clearing and had a reasonably dry day to light a fire but fires are inclined to do funny things."
By the time emergency services arrived, the fire had been stifled by some green vegetation at the top of the hillside but it took crews several hours to put it out due to being on a steep incline with difficult access.
The fire was close to a house at the top of the hill but it was not in danger and the only damage caused by the blaze was to vegetation.
People needed to remember that while scrub may look green, there is often dry material underneath that will burn and could get out of control, especially in spring with dry weather and wind, Mr Draper said.
Anyone wanting to light a fire should check the conditions, make sure there is no wind and check how dry the material is.
People were also welcome to contact their local fire station because fire crews would prefer to help assess the conditions and advise people than have a fire start, he said.
"We will come and inspect it."
Hawke's Bay principal rural fire officer Trevor Mitchell said people needed to remember to only burn organic material and not to burn rubbish within five metres of anything flammable.
They also needed to make sure water was put on any fire once finished and not to light fires in windy weather.
"The fires that we are having problems with are from people that aren't doing these things."
A fire restriction would be coming into effect shortly due to a number of out-of-control burnoffs in the last few weeks, he said.
This will be the first restriction under the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand organisation, which is a merge between the New Zealand Fire Service and rural fire authorities. Fire restrictions will no longer be done through local and regional councils.
Once a fire restriction is in place, anyone wanting to light a fire needs to apply for a permit online at www.checkitsalright.nz or call 0800 658 628.