Scrub fire in Pumpkin Hill, Coromandel Peninsula, evacuations underway

Residents from 16 properties have been evacuated as a scrub fire continues to burn in eastern Coromandel Peninsula.

But State Highway 25, which was to be closed in the Pumpkin Hill area about 37km southeast of Whitianga, did not have to be closed as planned thanks to a last-minute wind change, a police spokeswoman said.

The evacuated residents, from properties on Pumpkin Hill Rd and in the Sailors Grave area, remained away from their homes, but police have been stood down for now, she said.

Around 40 firefighters were still battling the blaze as of 7.15pm, with support from two helicopters, Fire and Emergency shift manager Colin Underdown said.

“The helicopters are working the perimeter, preparing for the evening.”

The helicopters will not fly after dark.

He was unsure how big the fire was, or whether it was yet under control. A fire command unit from Hamilton was also at the scene.

When firefighters arrived at the scene around 2.30pm the fire was 100m by 50m.

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