Firefighters who continue to battle a now under-control Porangahau fire have a warning to public heading into the summer months.

Crews were alerted about 8.40pm on Monday night to the blaze on a forestry block stretches about 15 kilometres along Wimbledon Rd, right on the border between Central Hawke's Bay and Tararua.

They found it was too dangerous to have crews attend and requested helicopter assistance.

Crews managed to get down to the site on Tuesday morning and managed to get the fire under control but remained at the scene to manage the blaze.


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Hawke's Bay Deputy Rural Fire Officer Gordon Foster said that they had to wait until morning to fight the fire.

"Over night we weren't able to get down to the fire because it wasn't safe for us to attend but this morning when we got down there we managed to get a couple of helicopters in and ground crews which helped get it under control," Foster said.

The fire covered a 20ha area, 15 of which was cleared area where pine trees had been felled.

Five hectares of the blaze was on forest covered land, but Foster says that they managed to minimise the damage to the trees still standing.

The fire was caused by an old controlled burn-off a couple of days earlier. Photo / Gordon Foster
The fire was caused by an old controlled burn-off a couple of days earlier. Photo / Gordon Foster

Hawke's Bay Rural Fire Officer Trevor Mitchell said the fire was caused by an old controlled burn-off that happened a couple of days prior to the fire.

"The fire was caused by an old slashing (process to burn off old plants, timber) from a couple of days prior which was still hot and with this warm, dry weather it didn't take much for it to take off again."

Mitchell said that due to the weather conditions people need to check any old fire heaps or rubbish fires to make sure they are cold and are in no condition of reigniting.


"We urge people to check any old controlled fires even if they are a couple of months old and make sure they are cold, because in this heat and the dry conditions it doesn't take much for some of them to really take off again."

The summer fire restrictions for Hawke's Bay come into effect on Monday which means that any controlled fires will need a permit to be lit.