Waimarama Rd, which was closed earlier today because of a massive fire that razed a house and forced the evacuation of people, has re-opened.

Waimarama Rd was used as a fire-break to stop the fire re-opened at 6pm and cars are able to get through the area.

Power was also restored to the area at 7pm after Unison cut power to about 700 customers on Waimarama's main feeder at 11am as a safety precaution.

Earlier today two bus-loads of school children were among those escorted out of the fire zone, as several large fires burn throughout the district.


A state of emergency has been declared for Hastings as the fires rage, burning at least one house and forcing people out of their homes.

More than 100 cars and two bus-loads of children were escorted out of the Waimarama area, as fire crews continue to battle a large wildfire in Waimarama Rd.

A wildfire is also burning in Colin White Rd, Te Hauke, a grass fire is at Endersly Rd, Havelock North and another wildfire is in Puketitiri Rd.

One house has been burned to the ground as a result of the Waimarama Rd grass fire that spread fast towards Lake Lopez.

It was reported earlier that two houses were at risk from the fire, and although one was saved the other had been destroyed.

Homes have been evacuated and a welfare centre has been set up at Havelock North Function Centre.

This afternoon, the Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group declared a state of emergency for Hastings.

The Hastings District Council announced a full outdoor watering ban has been put in place.

Three classrooms of children from Flaxmere were in Waimarama on a school trip, Newstalk ZB reports, and some were stuck for a time inside the cordon.

Some parents and their children managed to drive out, but a bus was stuck inside. However, Hastings District Council said two bus-loads had now been escorted safely out.

A father whose son was on the trip told Newstalk ZB the kids were well away from the flames, all are safe and were hardly aware of what was going on.

One house has already been engulfed by flames, while several others are threatened.

A photograph taken by John Wuts today shows a house ablaze.

Mr Wuts, a Napier resident, feared for his life after leaving Ocean Beach early today "because the wind picked up and we were sand blasted".

5.47pm - 13/02/17 A State of Emergency has been declared in Hastings District. A fire on Waimarama Road remains the...

Posted by HB Civil Defence Emergency Management Group on Sunday, 12 February 2017

"We were driving along and with all that smoke I was getting worried about getting out of there - you see those scenes in Australia where people get burned to death," he said.

"Once we got over the Waimarama Rd bridge we could see the whole hillside was going up - the house as well.

"There was another house that was also under threat but the fire people seemed to manage to put a water break in there, so at least they saved that one on the right-hand side."

After watching several fire crews battle the blaze for about 20 minutes "it got too distressing" to watch, he said.

"There was nothing we could do.

"I don't know how they are going to put it out in this wind."

More than 100 cars and two busloads of children needing to leave Waimarama have been escorted out. Fire crews are...

Posted by Hastings District Council on Sunday, 12 February 2017

On Facebook, Jo Waldon said the situation was "not good at all", and her power was out, making it stiflingly warm without air-conditioning.

Others also posted about being without power, while some, like Erin Combrinck, were worried they may not be able to return home tonight.

Julia Nysse said the fire was causing so much smoke she "couldn't see the sky".

Meanwhile, the community has been rushing to offer help to those stuck or who might be without a bed for the night.

Offers of spare beds and other forms of help are being posted, while Pets R Us is offering to help pet-owners evacuated from their home look after distressed animals.

Pet2Us would like to offer our assistance to those affected by the fires in Hastings; anyone who has been evacuated or...

Posted by Pet 2 Us on Sunday, 12 February 2017

Waimarama Rd has been closed to traffic at the Tukituki Bridge end and at the Maraetotara Rd turnoff as firefighters battle the blaze.

Fire appliances from Napier, Hastings, Waimarama, Havelock North and possibly Palmerston North headed to a grass fire on Waimarama Rd this morning, where it is believed four helicopters are also in attendance.

Earlier, Napier Fire Service station officer Graeme McFarland said a 50ha grass fire was burning, and all local resources were heading that way.

At least 20 volunteers had been called in to assist, including farm workers and managers.

The fire is believed to have started on the corner of Kahuranaki and Waimarama Rds and is being driven by the winds towards Lake Lopez.

Meanwhile, fire crews were at a grass fire near Te Hauke overnight dampening down hotspots from the fire that began yesterday and had covered about 300ha as of this morning.

Fire authorities were asking people to stay away from the Colin White Rd area as they were getting in the way of firefighters attending the scene.