Around 40 homes evacuated as helicopters battle massive Northland fire

Locals are being evacuated as helicopters attempt to put out a massive bush fire at the southern end of Northland's 90 Mile Beach.

The blaze is now making its way down from the Gumfields Historic Reserve to the township of  Ahipara.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand confirmed around 40 properties are being evacuated on Reef View Road and Wharo Way.

"The fire has currently burnt through an area of around 1km by 1km. The fire is currently slowly spreading east and is uncontained," a spokesperson said.

"Multiple appliances and six helicopters are working on the fire. Ground crews will remain overnight and once night fall comes, helicopters will be grounded until first light."

Around 40 homes evacuated as helicopters battle massive Northland fire
Photo credit: Supplied

Locals have posted photos to social media showing the fire billowing out across the beach.

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

"At this point, there are a few helicopters which have come in. It's been burning for about an hour, there's quite a lot of smoke coming up and it's turned the whole sky orange."

Haldane said emergency services are trying to extinguish the fire, which is believed to be in the scrub.

"The local fire service was sounding the alarm and we have heard a number of appliances coming through. But we think it is quite far up in the bush so I think the only thing that's going to be able to reach it is helicopters at this point."

He said it's currently "getting worse" while trucks attempt to reach it.

But there are concerns residents may have to be evacuated if the fire travels closer to the township.

"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."