Flames up to 40 meters high are exploded by a wildfire in the bush near Ahipara in the far north this evening.
The fire makes its way through a scrub in the Gomfields Historic Preserve and spreads east.
About 40 properties in Reef View and Wharo Way have been evacuated by the police and residents are encouraged to go to the local rugby club or Roma Marai if they need help.
The New Zealand Fire and Emergency Service said the fire spread for one kilometer in a kilometer and spread.
Six helicopters and multiple firefighting crews were working to put out the slow-burning flames.
Residents along Foreshore Road, west of Ahipara, near Shipwreck Bay, were ordered to move away from their homes.
Justin Edgecomb, watched, says strong winds feed the fire.
“It’s a huge fire coming from behind the hill [Ahipara]He told the Herald.
“As I was looking at it, I was very far away but it looked like the flames were probably 30, 40 meters in the air.”
Dave Clark has a department in Wharo Way, which comes from Foreshore Rd, and says firefighters make sure everyone gets out of the area.
The flames were burning towards the top of the hill behind them, but it appeared to be spreading down towards the coast.
Clark says the fire is massive and burns mostly in native jungles and he’s never seen anything like it before.
Clark said there hasn’t been a lot of rain in the area lately and conditions are very dry. The firefighters told him to find another place to sleep tonight.
Clark says they are picking up water from the ocean and throwing it on the fire.
Edgecombe says police have arrived at the scene and are preventing people from driving to the scene of the fire.
A police spokeswoman said they were contacted around 6.10 pm but were only there to control traffic in the area.