A lightning strike caused a hay barn to bust into flames near Rotorua this afternoon.

Emergency services were called to a rural property on Paradise Valley Rd in the Ngongotaha Valley at 5.33pm where a 30 x 10m barn full of hay was burning fiercely, Fire Service northern communications centre shift manager Daniel Nicholson said.

Two fire appliances and two tankers from Rotorua were dispatched to put out the blaze.

About 20 minutes later, firefighters were called to a property on Edward Payton Drive in Rotorua where blocked guttering caused flooding in a residential property.


Shortly afterwards they were called to Rotorua Girls' High School where heavy rain had caused flooding in the board room.

MetService issued a heavy rain watch for the Bay of Plenty this morning, with periods of heavy rain expected from this morning through to about midnight. There was a possibility of thunderstorms this afternoon and evening, MetService said.

The heavy rain is a result of a complex trough moving east across the country, bringing the rain to the north and west of both islands.