A fire "the length of a rugby field" ravaged Mount Maunganui beach yesterday as a Bay fire chief warns of a "very dangerous season ahead".
About 12 firefighters were called the blaze off Oceanbeach Rd about 12.10am yesterday, said a Fire and Emergency NZ spokesman.
The fire spread to 50m by 100m and was about "the length of a rugby field", he said.
Crews managed to get the blaze under control in about an hour and, while it was not known what caused the fire, it was not thought to be suspicious, he said.
This was followed by a large fire at a Te Maunga wood waste yard late yesterday afternoon where twelve fire appliances attended.
The Mount Maunganui fires followed a large bushfire that engulfed shrubbery in Matatā on Saturday.
More than 30 firefighters battled a large shrub fire that started on the sand dunes and blew into the bush.
Matata Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Gavin Dennis said the siren went off about 3pm on Saturday to smoke coming from the bush near a motorcamp off State Highway 2.
He said he was quickly made aware that the fire was approaching blue gum trees that were highly flammable and there were reports of a lot of smoke, some even black.
Black smoke meant the fire was burning fresh timber, he said.
• Bay of Plenty fire crews busy after numerous Guy Fawkes callouts
• Large shed fire in Oropi
• Flames 'the length of a rugby field' spread down Mount Maunganui beach
• Emergency services attend garage fire in Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau
Dennis made the decision to call for back-up.
Six trucks battled the blaze that engulfed the shrubbery for four hours. Hoses were coming from both the beach and along the railway tracks.
Police and roadworks were also sent to control traffic off the busy road.
Dennis said it appeared some kids nearby may have set a small fire on the beach that burnt out of control.
He said although it looked like it had been an accident, the consequences were huge.
The high temperatures and dry conditions this early on in the summer was concerning, he said.
A restricted fire season was already in place, as well as a complete ban on fires in the open.
He said even people lighting barbecues and hangis needed to be extremely responsible as the conditions were that dry.
It was going to be a "very dangerous season ahead", he said.
"If you don't need to light a fire, please don't do it."
He said it was going to be a "really, really hot summer" and "people need to be careful".
"We don't want to end up like Australia."
Only hours after the bushfire, Matatā crews were called to a deliberately lit van fire on Herepuru Rd.
The fire had spread to nearby bush, wreaking havoc in the shrubbery.
The crew got to work in breathing apparatus and spent the next hour extinguishing the fire, he said.
Moana Pumicelands rural fire officer Chris Clark said the current fire danger for shrubbery was sitting at extreme.
He said fire officers would be closely monitoring the conditions and warned people to be "very careful".
Some of the most volatile and flammable shrub was shelter belt trees found within and near orchards, making places like Te Puke and the Western Bay of Plenty quite vulnerable, he said.
The Bay of Plenty was set to see a hot and dry end to November, with near to no rainfall before December 1.
Metservice spokeswoman Claire Nickson said Tauranga temperatures were sitting well above the November average.
The average November temperature for Tauranga was 20.1C, however, the last week has seen heat around 25C and 26C.
For Rotorua, 18.6C was the norm, however, temperatures skyrocketed to the 27C and 28C as of late.
No substantial rain was expected in Rotorua and Tauranga for the rest of the month.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council backyard burning rules - https://cdn.boprc.govt.nz/media/765585/1201-smoke-sense-the-rules-on-backyard-burning-dle-brochure-for-web.pdf
Fire and Emergency NZ guidance - https://www.checkitsalright.nz/
Today - Fine, but an afternoon shower or two possible. Light winds and afternoon sea breezes. High of 25C, low of 17C.
Tomorrow - Morning cloud, then increasing fine spells. Light winds and afternoon sea breezes. High of 21C, low of 14C.