More than 30 firefighters battling a fire in scrub and pine forest on the east coast north of Whangārei yesterday afternoon managed to save a nearby home and accommodation business.
The alarm was raised about 12.40pm when the fire, near the settlement of Punaruku, north of Ōakura Bay, was the size of a football field and spreading rapidly.
Initially it was reported to be threatening several buildings.
By 3pm a Fire and Emergency spokesman said the blaze had grown from 1ha to about 1.5ha and was being fought by two helicopters with monsoon buckets. The blaze was deemed under control, although firefighters and a helicopter were still working on it about 4.30pm.
Firefighters on the ground included two crews each from Hikurangi and Kamo and one from Russell.
The cause of the blaze was not clear.
The fire started in a property next to Oakura Bay Country Cottages on Russell Rd.
Owner Sue Williamson said she had been out and came home to find scrub and pine trees next door ''well ablaze''.
Guests staying in the cottages had already called 111.
''We were fighting it with three garden hoses for about an hour until the fire brigade arrived. It was quite worrying.''
The flames came to within 50m of her home.
By 3.30pm her property was out of danger though helicopters were still shuttling water non-stop from the creek near her house.
''A big thanks to the volunteer firefighters,'' she said.
The latest blaze comes days after a fire ripped through 56ha of scrub and forced the evacuation of up to 100 homes at Ahipara and a fire on the uninhabited Three Kings Islands sparked fears for the world's rarest tree.
Only one example of the kaikōmako tree (Pennantia baylisiana) is known in the wild.
A total fire ban has been force across Northland since December 30.