- Emergency warning issued for some Cessnock residents
- Watch and Act for bushfires at Port Stephens, Wauchope
- 57 fires burning across the state
- Wauchope fire contained
- Pacific Highway closed near Balickera, north of Raymond Terrace
- Oxley Highway closed at Wauchope
- ROLLING UPDATES: Cessnock
Cessnock residents have been advised to leave as a bushfire bears down on the Hunter community.
The Rural Fire Service issued an emergency warning for the Racecourse Road bushfire around 2.20pm, urging residents in the vicinity who had planned to leave to do so now, if the path was clear.
The fire is burning on several fronts and weather conditions are hampering efforts to bring it under control.
“The fire is also burning towards the area of Evans Street and Vincent Street,” the warning stated.
“If you are in the area of Racecourse Road, Evans Street or Vincent Street, leave now if the path is clear. If the path is not clear, seek shelter as the fire impacts and protect yourself from the heat of the fire.”
Ground and aerial firefighters are battling the blaze, which has burnt its way through more than 180 hectares and generating large amounts of smoke.
Rural Fire Service Inspector Ben Shepherd said residents around Racecourse Road, Vincent Street, Evans Street and nearby are being advised to leave if the path is clear, and seek shelter if it is not.
The fire started in Werakata National Park around midday on Saturday.
As the wind changed it moved swiftly to South Cessnock, and is now burning towards Aberdare and Kearsley.
Residents in nearby properties, including Bellbird Heights to the west received an emergency warning from the RFS, and some have chosen to evacuate.
Earlier warnings advised residents of Racecourse Road to be aware of burning embers, and suggested it may not be safe to return to their homes.
Firefighters and aircraft are on scene and are protecting homes.
Meanwhile, watch and act alerts have been issued as fires burn north of Raymond Terrace and east of Wauchope.
The Lone Pine fire is out of control, burning intensely and spreading quickly at Balickera, north of the Grahamstown Dam.
The Pacific Highway has been closed near the Weigh Station, north of Raymond Terrace and will likely be closed for some time, the NSW Roads and Maritime Service advises.
Further north in the Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area, the Oxley Highway is closed after a watch and and act alert was issued for a bushfire at King Creek, east of Wauchope.
The fire has since been contained, however the road is expected to remain closed for some time.
The following advice has been issued to residents:
-Be aware of burning embers. Put out any spot fires on your property if it is safe to do so.
-Check and follow your bush fire survival plan.
-If your plan is to leave, or you are not prepared, leave early.
-Well prepared and actively defended homes can offer safety during the fire.
-If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.