Rail services along the coastline of Matata were delayed on Monday as fire fighters battled for almost two hours to control a scrub fire at Pikowai.
Firefighters from Te Puke, Pukehina, Matata and Whakatane rural fire attended the 100m by 50m blaze that broke out at about 2pm.
Fire fighters throughout the Bay of Plenty were kept busy with a scrub fire in Pikowai and other callouts including one to a controlled burn next to VTNZ in Maleme Street in Greerton.
Fire Service Northern Communications shift manager Jarron Phillips says the fire started at an old Maori burial ground.
“The caller’s comment is it appeared to be an out of control burn off,” says Jarron.
“The fire moved up a bank and train control was forced to stop all trains because it was near the railway track – and the fire fighters had hoses over the railway lines as well.”
Five fire appliances were called to the blaze, as well as the rural fire officers from Whakatane.
In Tauranga fire fighters were called to a number of call outs including a controlled burn which produced large amounts of smoke on a property in Greerton.
Greerton fire fighters were called to Maleme Street at about 9.30am where a private contractor was undertaking a controlled burn.
A spokesperson from the VTNZ building next to the burn says it died down after the initial rush and the contractor had a council permit.