Power is being cut to lines and roads have been closed near Mangakino as a "huge" fire burns through scrub and old man pines.

The fire has grown from the size of a car when it was first reported before 4pm to covering an area 2.5 hectares.

Three helicopters and two bulldozers are assisting ground crews tackling the blaze, a Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokeswoman said.

Waipapa Rd has now been closed off from the public due to the blaze.


Emergency services scrambled to the scene as the wind quickly directed it towards a nearby forestry block from the side of the road.

The blaze started just hours after the Mangakino Volunteer Fire Brigade posted on Facebook alerting the community it had entered a total fire ban.

"Due to hot dry weather conditions we are having, the fire danger for our area as gone to EXTREME," it posted around midday.

"This has triggered a TOTAL FIRE BAN in the Rural and Urban areas."

Earlier today, two helicopters, three water tankers and four fire trucks were needed to put out a large fire in Kaingaroa, south of Rotorua.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) was alerted to the fire at 1.29pm when a volunteer firefighter called in.

Shift manager Scott Osmond said it was along an 80m shelter belt and was well involved when crews arrived.

"There are also a number of forestry resources helping fight the fire," he said.


A forestry worker, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Rotorua Daily Post he noticed the fire at 2pm when the first helicopter arrived.

"It is in an area of dry grass and trees beside the village. There's lots of smoke that's for sure."

FENZ shift manager Daniel Nicholson confirmed the fire had been extinguished shortly before 4pm.

Fire bans and restricts are in place throughout the country and FENZ is pleading with Kiwis to be vigilant during the extreme conditions.

The restrictions are in place due to long periods without significant rain and abundant spring vegetation has now dried off.

FENZ's principal advisor fire risk management Peter Gallagher is asking New Zealanders to be extra cautious.

"We are not expecting to see a significant change in fire danger in the next two to four weeks," he said.

"These very dry conditions increase the chance of a single spark creating a large fire.

"We're asking the public to stop and think before they undertake certain activities outside and to remain vigilant."

New Zealand's fire bans

Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty/Central North Island, Christchurch City and Banks Peninsula, Nelson, Marlborough and Central Otago.

Fire prevention advice

• Call 111 if you see any signs of fire or suspicious activity.
• Go to http://www.checkitsalright.nz/ for fire season status and rules relating to outdoor fires.
• Do not mow long, dry grass if there's a chance of hitting a rock. If a mower's metal blades hit even a tiny rock, it can cause a spark and ignite a fire.
• Take extreme care when performing hot work outdoors, such as grinding, welding or metal cutting.