Fire threatened 10 houses on a hilltop at Pukehina lunchtime yesterday after an incinerator fire spread to nearby blackberry bushes.
Pukehina Volunteer Fire Brigade fire chief Errol Watts said about 12 firefighters from Pukehina, Maketu and Te Puke fought the blaze, which spread to within 20m of the houses.
"It came up to their lawns. The wind was fanning the fire but I think something might have blown out of the incinerator into the blackberry on the side of the hill."
At its peak the fire covered an area of blackberry and scrub on the hillside about 150m by 50m. With no articulated water supply, Mr Watts said firefighters quickly used the 2000 litres in their appliance and the 1500 from the Maketu truck.
Te Puke's tanker was then called on, bringing an extra 5000 litres of water to the area.
Mr Watts said firefighters were at the scene for about an hour.