Fire crews battle large blaze in Manawatu forest

Six helicopters are on the scene.
Six helicopters are on the scene. Photo credit: Facebook / Himatangi Beach Volunteer Fire Brigade

A large blaze in the Manawatu Tangimoana forest is now 90 percent contained, but is still actively burning in the centre.

Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) were called to Lake Road, near Himatangi Beach at around 6pm on Thursday evening.

Crews worked through the night using heavy machinery to create firebreaks and to monitor the scene to ensure the blaze didn't spread.

Earlier on Friday, FENZ said the fire had burnt through 45 hectares of forest and around 50 firefighters were on the scene.

Six helicopters and heavy machinery were being used to fight the blaze and create more firebreaks. 

Fire crews battle large blaze in Manawatu forest
Photo credit: Newshub

FENZ said the number of helicopters was set to be reduced shortly, though the fire wouldn't be completely extinguished today.

"Crews are expecting to be on scene for a couple of days to create blackout lines right around the fire perimeter," a FENZ spokesperson said. 

"These are areas 10m completely around the fire perimeter where it has been completely extinguished."

A fire investigator is at the scene to determine the cause of the blaze but the investigation is expected "to take some time", the spokesperson said.