Fire and Emergency New Zealand deputy principal of rural fire Jarron McInnes said the fire, although permitted, got out of hand due to extremely dry surrounding logs and shrubs. Three trucks were still at the scene, from Lake Okareka, Ngongotahā, and Taupō, while four trucks had left.
Crews would stay on the scene for at least three more hours to ensure it stayed under control. The landowner would bring a digger to create a barrier.
He said this was a reminder that even permitted fires still posed a risk and needed to monitored closely. Rotorua was currently in a restricted fire season which meant only fires with permits were allowed, and permits were only active for five days. If there was no significant rain in the next seven days, McInnes said the area may be put under another total fire ban.