Five helicopters with monsoon buckets have been dispatched to the Far North in a bid to bring a large scrub fire under control.

The fire in Matai Bay, near a Department of Conservation campsite, is believed to have been started by fireworks and covered an area of about 10 hectares.

The fire front was thought to be about 600m.

Some homes are in danger but at this stage the Fire Service said none had been damaged.


Last night Fire Service spokesman Jaron Philips said the fire was very difficult to access and the priority was to evacuate people and protect houses.

"We know it is close to houses, tents and the campground. Because it's dark and because of the time the focus is on protecting the houses."

Eight crews from Karikari, Mangonui, Rangiputa and Kaitaia​ responded initially.

This morning several helicopters with monsoon buckets began work at dawn in a bid to extinguish the fires.

As of 7.30am there were five helicopters working on the blaze.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Myles Taylor said last night it looked like two buildings were at risk.

"It's a pretty big fire. We can't get access to it. It's too dangerous.

"We're working out what we're going to do about it now."


Philips said three helicopters were being called in to fight the fire; they started working at first light.​

Matai Bay resident Val said last night she could see the red glow in the sky from the fire and she was at least 10km away.

"It is a bit worrying it is very dry. It could be coming towards the campground.

"The campground is full. I hope to God it's not going towards there."

Another fire in Northland also threatened homes last night.

Residents were evacuated at Pataua South as the fire crept towards houses, a large shed and pines trees the Fire Service said.

Police helped people flee their homes.

Brook Davis said the fire at Pataua Campground was "pretty scary s***" but seemed to have died down a bit. At its peak he could see a big red glow and lots of smoke.

"It was pretty full on. It was huge like volcano going up."

Davis said the campers were warned they may have to evacuate. If they did so they would only be allowed to walk out of the campground and had to leave everything behind.

Davis, who has camped there every summer for over seven years, said there was a fire scare last year too.

"It's obviously just grab your wallet, phone, wake the kids up and go.

"If it's not a fire it's a flood. We keep coming back anyway."