Footage captures blaze engulfing Mahanga house

A roaring blaze on the Mahia Peninsula on Sunday has been captured up close by a holidaymaker.

The large scrub fire in the North Island chewed through 35 hectares of land in Hawke's Bay and scientists are warning the dry conditions that fuelled it aren't going away.

Footage captured just metres from the house that was destroyed in Sunday's blaze shows the inferno engulfing the back of property and just through the front door, its flames can be seen licking the walls of the hallway.

Six helicopters and around 100 firefighters battled the blaze at its height.

"It turned into quite a significant event quite quickly, it's very dry out at the Mahia Peninsula," says Kitea Tipuna, a spokesperson for the Wairoa District Council.

The scrub fire forced residents and holidaymakers at Mahia's Mahanga Beach to flee as flames quickly spread.

But a sudden change in the wind meant several homes and baches were spared.

"It spread really quick down there and it was just lucky that some gusts threw it the other way I think, and those helicopters were good team work," says holidaymaker Tina McGrannachan.

While it was good luck for some, it was bad luck for others.

"The wind changed and went right through my avocado orchard," says resident Louise Schick.

It's still not known what caused the blaze, but the Council is reminding people about a total fire ban in the area.

Tinder dry conditions also played a part in a house fire near Hastings which forced a family of four, including a three-year-old, to flee for their lives.

It follows other scrub fires on Kawau Island in the Hauraki Gulf and at Pipiwai in Northland, and scientists are warning there could be plenty more like them.

"Given the warm temperatures of this time of year as well, it has really enhanced the dryness of those soils," says NIWA's Gregor Macara.

"So we can expect they'll be more susceptible to drought as we move through the summer, and even fires as well.

No one was injured in Sunday's blaze, but there's concern areas plagued by those dry conditions may not be so lucky next time.