There is a long road ahead for residents of Ōhau Village as the fire continues to rage through thousands of hectares of the Mackenzie Basin.
Winds reaching up to 160km/h forced helicopters to stay on the ground and made firefighting challenging yesterday morning.
About 100 firefighters working on the ground tackled the blaze, which has destroyed more than 40 houses and burnt through more than 5500ha since it started early on Sunday.
Incident Controller Rob Hands described the fire as "complex".
"This area features a range of different fuels, including wilding pines, grass and tussock. It also features steep terrain. These variables can make firefighting difficult," he said.
"While the winds have been strong, it has been pleasing to see that we have managed to keep the fire within the containment zone."
A hot spot had flared up in the village yesterday morning, but firefighters were quick to bring it under control.
"There's been no threat to any further properties."
A team of fire investigators has started looking at the cause, area of origin and spread of the fire, but "due to its complexity it will be some time before this will be complete", Hands said.
The wind dropped later in the morning, in time for a special convoy to enter the fire zone.
At 10am, six cars carrying about a dozen residents were lined up at the incident control centre in Lake Ōhau Rd.
Those inside waited anxiously as rain started to fall.