It has prompted a local rural fire officer to remind people of the very high fire risk status in place in the region.
Emergency services were called to the fire, which engulfed about 25 metres by 50m of scrub off State Highway 30, near Lake Rotoiti, about 10.50am yesterday.
Rotorua fire service Senior Station Officer Jim Prescott said more than six fire crews attended the blaze, including two from Rotorua, the West Rotoiti Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Lake Okareka Rural Fire Force.
Because fire crews needed to access a water supply on the other side of the highway, the road was temporarily blocked so firefighters could drag a hose across the road.
One lane was closed for longer, causing traffic to back up and traffic control was called to help with the situation.
Rotorua Lakes Council deputy principal rural fire officer Richard Horn said firecrews were still investigating the cause of the fire but dry conditions were likely to have caused it to spread.
"The fire was very big, it was at least the size of a rugby field. Because of the dry conditions it spread very quickly," he said.
"But it had the potential to have been a lot larger if not for the quick response by firecrews. They did a pretty amazing job getting it under control so quickly. It could have been a lot worse."
Rotorua Daily Post photographer Stephen Parker said at its peak the fire came within 50m of the nearest houses. Several residents had gathered outside after noticing thick smoke lingering in the air, he said.
Mr Horn said it was a reminder to be aware of the dry conditions.
"The fire service has attended a significant number of fires in recent weeks, both in rural and urban areas, so it's important people are cautious. There is still a very high fire risk."
Last month the region's fire risk was increased to very high, after temperatures soared towards the 30C mark amid spells of very little rain.
According to Niwa's latest Hotspot Watch report, the Bay of Plenty was one of the regions across the country experiencing severely to extremely drier than normal soil conditions.