A Far North fire that has has burned an area of about 10 hectares has now been mostly contained.
Four helicopters are continuing to dump water scooped from a nearby river.
Seven appliances and about 30 firefighters are on the ground.
The alarm was raised around 3pm when five crews from the Rawene and Kaikohe fire brigades were called to a 100m by 3m wildfire on Rawene Rd off SH12, about 43km west of Kaikohe.
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Northland deputy chief rural fire officer Michael Champtaloup said the fire started by the roadside and spread rapidly uphill through young pines, fanned by a 25km/h wind gusting to 40km/h.
By 5pm the fire had spread to almost 3ha and crews alongside four helicopters were still fighting to contain the blaze.
Three homes just north of the fire were evacuated.
Residents in several other homes along Rawene Rd were told to be ready to leave at short notice.
Rawene Rd remains closed between SH12 and the hospital and is unlikely to open before 9pm.
Rawene Rd is the route to the Hokianga ferry to Kohukohu, so some North Hokianga residents will have a long drive home tonight around the harbour.
Champtaloup said the flames had just reached mature pines as the wind died down and the fire was contained. The choppers would keep working until nightfall and would start again at first light tomorrow.