Hotel evacuated as fire threatens

A fire that threatened properties near Taupo has been brought under control, according to a report.

The fire, which destroyed about five hectares of scrub near Spa Thermal Park just north of Taupo, was reported about 2.20pm, a northern fire communications spokesman said.

Several fire engines, water tankers and a helicopter with a monsoon bucket were used to bring the blaze under control, Radio New Zealand reported.

Spa Hotel Taupo leasee and operator Scott Rinkin said the Spa Hotel was 500 metres away from the blaze and he had to evacuate 20 guests.

''Someone came down and said there was a fire back in the thermal park and it was 'oh yeah' and 20 minutes later, the police came down and said 'you've got to be evacuated because it's getting too close to your property' so we had to go and get everyone out of their units and tell them to grab what they could and run. So it was quite hectic here.''