Firefighters battle Matakana bush blaze

9:06 pm on 14 December 2016

A large pine forest fire at Matakana, north of Auckland, which forced the evacuation of several houses, has been brought under control and contained.

Fire crews at the scene of the Matakana vegetation fire.

Fire crews at the scene of the fire in the Matakana area, north of Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Carla Penman

Seventeen fire engines, three helicopters and about 70 firefighters were sent to fight the fire, which covered about three hectares at its height.

Four houses on Wright Road and Quiet Rise were evacuated. Wright Road was also closed after the fire jumped it.

Six more houses were put on notice.

The Fire Service said the blaze was now under control, and had been contained.

Principal rural fire officer Bryan Cartelle said all available appliances in the area were responding.

Earlier, firefighters were forced to evacuate the area "for their own safety" due to a sudden shift in the wind.

Local resident Rhonda Davies said the wind was very strong and was spreading the fire.

"I can't really see much at the moment, other than the helicopters flying over. But we have a fire truck sitting in the back yard, hooked up to a pond for water."

The Fire Service said alarms were activated in Warkworth to bring in additional firefighters.

St John Ambulance also responded, because of the large number of beehives in the area and the possibility someone could have an allergic reaction if stung, the Fire Service said.