Large scrub fire on Northland's Karikari Peninsula treated as suspicious
A large scrub fire in Northland is being treated as suspicious, after an allegedly stolen car was found burnt out nearby.
Four helicopters with monsoon buckets and six fire trucks were called to the Karikari Peninsula around 6pm on Sunday.
The fire was located near the tip of the peninsula on Matai Bay Rd. It is not known whom the land belongs to.
The crews battled the blaze until sunset at which point it had engulfed several hectares of scrub land.
At first light on Monday, four fire trucks and one helicopter returned to the area to continue to douse the blaze, which had swallowed two more hectares overnight.
Fire service spokesman Jaron Phillips said they were in the final stages of dampening down the area just after midday.
"At this stage the cause of the fire is unknown and is being treated as suspicious," Phillips said.
"There was a stolen car located close to the scene, burnt out."
He said that at one stage the fire was drifting west due in the 15-20 knot winds near some shacks on the waterfront, but no buildings were damaged in the end.
"It is an area where there has been a lot of fire over the years," Phillips said.
Myles Taylor, principle rural fire officer at the scene said the scrub land is dry and highly volatile.
"It's potentially a very dangerous situation and we're not going to turn our back on it for one second."
As at 2.30pm, Taylor said: "We have three quarters of it [the fire] contained. Still have one helicopter out at the moment and three rural tankers as well as three ground crews."
Police wouldn't confirm a report by One News that the allegedly stolen car had been abandoned and set alight after a high speed chase, saying the matter was currently under investigation.