Far North fire: About 100 homes evacuated as firefighters, helicopters continue battling blaze

About 100 properties have been evacuated in the Far North after a fire broke out in a reserve in Ahipara on Tuesday evening.

Six helicopters took to the sky at first light on Wednesday to try and contain the blaze, which has been spreading east, according to an update from Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) on Wednesday morning.

FENZ was unable to confirm how much the fire grew overnight.

"Early signs are that great progress has been made on the fire. No structures were lost overnight," FENZ said in a statement.

"Currently around 40 firefighters and six helicopters are working on the fire."

Photos of the fire posted to social media on Tuesday evening showed smoke billowing across nearby Ninety Mile Beach.

"There's just a whole lot of smoke coming up over the ridge of Ahipara," witness Damian Haldane told Newshub.

"With the direction of the wind, which is a south-westerly - the wind is blowing the flames towards the coastline and there are a lot of houses down there."

FENZ said overnight conditions were tough for firefighting, making it difficult to contain the blaze.

"We are working with the residents of the 100 homes affected by the fire. We will get them back into their homes when it is safe to do so."

Authorities will provide a further update on Wednesday afternoon.