Sparkes from a powerline is thought to have caused a large grass fire in Onepu this afternoon.

Fire crews from Whakatane, Edgecumbe and Kawerau responded to the blaze on Onepu Springs Road just after 3 pm.

The fire came within 40 meters of nearby homes, however quick actions by fire crews ensured the blaze was contained quickly.

Local resident Kathleen Galvin said she noticed the fire after hearing a loud bang.

“I was sitting in the kitchen when I heard a loud bang, I came outside and saw the fire.”

“When I was on the phone to the fire service the five grew and spread like wildfire.”

Around 50 properties in Onepu and Kawerau lost power and were all restored shortly before 6.00 pm.

Fire crews remain at the scene monitoring hot spots.

A restricted fire season is currently in place for the Eastern Bay of Plenty.