The cause of a fire at Whakarewarewa Forest off Sala St on Tuesday is still unknown.

Two fire trucks and a tanker were sent to put it out at 2.35pm. It covered an area about 20m by 30m.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand senior station officer Barry Hogan said the cause of the fire was still being investigated.

"It's a busy time of the year," said Hogan.

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"With what's happening in Nelson, it's important for people to check before they light."

Meanwhile central North Island rural firefighters are putting together a team of 10 rural firefighters to head to Nelson if they are needed.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand principal rural fire officer Paul Wright said "it's a matter of being prepared".

"The reason we're doing this is becasue time is of the essence."

Wright said a team of seven had already been put together but they wanted to have a team of 10 so they had the manpower if they were called upon.

All rural fire permits have been suspended and no new ones will be granted until further notice with the forecast staying hot and dry. Photo / Stephen Parker
All rural fire permits have been suspended and no new ones will be granted until further notice with the forecast staying hot and dry. Photo / Stephen Parker

A National Incident Managment Team (NIMT) had already been sent to Nelson to help with the planning and managment of the blaze which was declared a civil defence emergency at 8am this morning.

All rural fire permits have been suspended in Rotorua and no more will be granted until further notice as the hot, dry weather had heightened the risk.

A team of four Rotorua rural firefighters were also currently in Tasmania, Australia to help with bushfire which have been burnt over 200,000ha since late December.

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Wright said we "need to be very careful" as more of the districts rural firefighters could be deployed.

He said the public had been good so far, and the fires in Nelson had raised awareness of the dangers of the current climate.

Firefighters dampen down hot spots after the fire in the Whakarewarewa Forest off Sala St on Tuesday. Photo / Stephen Parker
Firefighters dampen down hot spots after the fire in the Whakarewarewa Forest off Sala St on Tuesday. Photo / Stephen Parker