A rubbish burnoff got out of control and set alight a large area of a shelter belt at a Galatea property in the Whakatāne district last night.

A NZ Fire and Emergency spokeswoman said the first 111 calls about the fire at the Jolly Rd property was received at 6.05pm.

The spokeswoman said a rubbish burnout on the property of tree branches and other debris got out of control and torched about 100m by 20m of a shelter belt on the rural property.

Fire crews from several brigades around the district attended the blaze, including Kaingaroa, Kawerau, Minginui, Rotorua and Murupura and finally left the property in the hands of the occupants at 11.15pm, she said.

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NZ Fire and Emergency New Zealand wanted to remind people that there was still a restricted fire season meaning a fire permit to light a fire in a rural area was required.

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