Residents living on Craggy Range Rd and Lopez Lane are allowed back in to their homes tonight as firefighters are comfortable with the progress being made on the Waimarama Rd fire.

Hastings District Council incident controller Alison Banks said this evening the fire was considered to be contained but was still being monitored closely.

At 6pm the fire had burnt 165ha of grassland and pine plantation.

Night crews are remaining there overnight but throughout the day nine fire crews and helicopters were out battling the blaze.


"Late this afternoon fire fighters were "comfortable" that they had a defendable space around the fire."

"Flare ups today were confined to within the 30-metre fire break that had been bulldozed over the last 24 hours."

Craggy Range Rd and Lopez Lane was only open to residents or firefighters and this was likely to remain for the next three days.

"There is still a lot of work to be done dampening down hot spots, and we need to make sure that fire engines and other heavy machinery has free access to the fire site."

A council spokeswoman said there would be a checkpoint on the road ensuring only residents got through.

"The public is urged to respect this restriction and stay away from the fires to allow fire crews the room they need to do their job and ensure the safety of everyone."

Waimarama Rd remained open today and residents evacuated from the area were able to return to their homes last night.

Since daylight helicopters using monsoon buckets continued to fight the Waimarama Rd fire to prevent it spreading. Around 200 hectares of pine trees were nearby and a firebreak had been bulldozed overnight in an attempt to stop it spreading into the trees.

Yesterday morning the fire consumed one house, and threatened four others.

Today the owner of the burned-down home, Guy Gemmill, said he did not want to discuss the incident.

Fires in Colin White Road, Ripia Stream, Te Hauke, and Endsleigh Road are contained but fire crews continue to monitor them and dealing with flare ups where required.

Unison restored power to most customers affected yesterday - 700 customers were reconnected last night after power was cut as a safety precaution yesterday morning.

Unison relationship manager Danny Gough said the only customers still offline were the nine of so in the immediate fire area, who had been evacuated anyway.

Two generators are on hand as backup to the Waimarama water supply system.

The team responding to the Hastings District fires said they were extremely grateful to the large number of people who are assisting with the firefighting efforts.

These include fire crews from Taranaki, Auckland, Tararua, Rotorua, Rangitikei and Whangarei and the Pumicelands Rural Fire Authority (Central North Island), fire crews from the Defence Force, the Department of Conservation, the Fire Protection Service and the NZ Fire Service.

Residents are asked to stay vigilant and keep an eye on Hastings District Council's Facebook page, HB Emergency websites and/or your local radio station.

The public is being asked to stay away from the fires to allow fire crews the room to do their job and ensure the safety of everyone.

There have been substantial resources brought into the district to help with the fires and teams are coping well and responding where required.