The farmer, who did not want to be named, said the scrub fire came within 20m of his house but always thought his property would be safe.
Rural firefighters were called to the scrub fire about 20km from Rotorua on State Highway 30, on the way to Tokoroa, about 3pm yesterday.
It is not yet known what caused the fire but firefighters were still dampening down hotspots two hours after the blaze.
"I heard a couple of cracks that sounded like a .22 [being fired] so I didn't think about it.
"I was just about to go fishing and I went back inside to go get some water when I saw flames from the kitchen window coming up the side of the hill.
"Then the cracks got louder and it really took off. I was concerned it might get into the bigger trees, but it didn't."
The farmer said he would love to know what started the blaze as he had not been using his incinerator and there was no-one else on the property.
Meanwhile, the total fire ban across the Rotorua district is being lifted, but a restricted fire season for rural Rotorua comes into effect from Monday.
During the restricted fire period a permit is required in rural areas for all outdoor fires, such as vegetation, hangi and brazier fires. It runs until the end of April. A small incinerator, drum fire, hangi or brazier fire is allowed in urban areas.
Rural firefighters dampen down hot spots after a scrub fire came within 20m of a rural property near Atiamuri.