Matakana blaze largely 'under control', but not yet contained

The Fire Service says a large blaze burning in a forest north of Auckland is largely "under control", but not yet contained.

At one stage three helicopters and more than 70 firefighters were battling the fire near Matakana.

There are now no fire trucks at the scene but crews will return at 7am Thursday to dampen down any patches that need it.

A number of homes were evacuated at the peak of the flames, including one on Wright Rd and two on Quiet Rise.

A truck heads up Wright Rd as a fire rages. Source: 1 NEWS

The fire was so strong it jumped a road, and at one stage a shift in wind direction forced fire crews to retreat "for their own safety".

A number of properties have been evacuated as the blaze spreads due to wind gusts. Source: 1 NEWS

Ambulances also attended due to the large numbers of beehives in the area, possibly leading to allergic reactions among those who are stung. 

The fire started near Wright Rd, Matakana, around 2pm, with suggestions the blaze was started by a beekeeper.

Fire Service spokesman Jaron Phillips said two helicopters were initially dispatched to fight the blaze and were working with monsoon buckets. A third joined them shortly after.

Matakana fire Source: Jay Jordan

At one stage the Fire Service tweeted the blaze had "jumped across the road" and was "burning down a valley".

The fire is in the Dome Valley Forest, which is mainly native bush, and is managed by the Department of Conservation.

A response on the ground and in the air was sparked by the fire that broke out this afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS

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