The blaze also resulted in more than 500 properties being temporarily without power. Fire Service Central-Lakes assistant area commander Hamish Smith said the fire was between the Ohaaki Power Station and the banks of the Waikato River and covered four hectares.
By 8pm the fire was contained but still burning, he said. Rural firefighters would remain at the scene overnight and the situation was to be reassessed in the morning. He said the wind was "not our friend" - it had been up to 25 knots but had dropped to about 17 knots tonight.
Unison power customer relations officer Danny Gough said some power poles had been damaged in the fire however it appeared they had just been blackened. He said workers had not yet been able to inspect them, but he was hopeful there would not be significant damage.
Mr Gough said power was disconnected to 560 customers in the area as a precaution, at the request of the fire service. Most properties were back on the grid by 7.30pm. The final six are expected to be reconnected tonight.
Contact Energy head of communications Shaun Jones said the Ohaaki Power Station was not affected and all staff working in and around the area were quickly accounted for. Fire crews were based at the station and station staff were supporting them in any way they could, he said.
A large scrub fire has broken out near the Ohaaki Power Station south of Rotorua, affecting power to 160 properties in the area.
A Fire Service spokeswoman said the blaze was burning on multiple fronts on Te Toke Rd, off Ohaaki Rd. She said the call came in at 3.50pm. Fire crews from Rotorua, Taupo and Kinloch are the scene. Two helicopters are dropping water on the blaze.
Fire crews were based at the station and station staff were offering support to them in any way they could, he said. Rotorua Daily Post photographer Ben Fraser said both ends of Ohaaki Rd were blocked off to traffic. He said the fire seemed "pretty big" and there was a lot of smoke, with the power station blanketed in it. He said the land around the area was very dry.