Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) was alerted to the fire at 1.29pm, when a volunteer firefighter called. 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 it started at the corner of Middle Rd and Kennedy St.
A police spokeswoman said FENZ called at 1.40pm asking police to attend the "large fire". Officers have been dispatched to the scene.
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."
Just before 4pm FENZ shift manager Daniel Nicholson confirmed the fire had been put out. He said one home in Middle Rd was evacuated as a precaution, and the road was partially closed. He said some crews were dampening down the scene, while others were leaving the scene.
Earlier today FENZ said the fire risk in the Bay of Plenty was "extreme" and asked the public to be vigilant. Fire bans and restrictions are in place across most of the country, including the Bay of Plenty.
Fire and Emergency's principal advisor fire risk management, Peter Gallagher, said the extreme fire risk was the result of long periods without significant rain, and abundant spring vegetation growth that had now dried off. "We are not expecting to see a significant change in fire danger in the next two to four weeks. 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."
Fire prevention advice
- Call 111 if you see any signs of fire or suspicious activity.
- Go to 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.