Hunter communities on alert ahead of extreme fire weather

The Rural Fire Service is warning Hunter Valley residents extreme fire conditions are expected to hit the Hunter region again today.

Temperatures in the high 30s, 10 per cent humidity and wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour have fire crews worried.

Across the state more than 1,400 extra firefighters have been put on standby ahead of today’s severe weather conditions.

Fires are still burning in parts of Port Stephens, southern Lake Macquarie and the Upper Hunter.

RFS spokesman Stuart O’Keefe says it is crucial people are prepared.

“We’re definitely going to feel the brunt of those conditions, and even if we don’t, it’s not going to be far off it,” he said.

“And those conditions do pose us some concern in relation to the spread of fire.

“The ground and the fuel is very, very dry.

“We really need a lot of rain to diminish that risk and unfortunately that’s not in the foreseeable future, so we’re going to be dealing with these kinds of issues for weeks to come.”

Mr O’Keefe says the conditions may cause problems for blazes that have been contained.

He says crews are continually patrolling two such fires in southern Lake Macquarie.

“The immediate risk for residents around Catherine Hill Bay, Nords Wharf, Cams Wharf, North Doyalson certainly has diminished.

“But there’s always the chance that we have recognition beyond that fire ground area, in particular towards the Murrays Beach and Caves Beach area.

“We did contain that fire well south of those suburbs but there still is a lot of bush there.”

Upper Hunter RFS spokesman John Lamb says it is crucial residents keep monitoring fire updates for blazes in the area, especially the Mount Tangory fire, east of Singleton.

“Those people who live in Glendonbrook, Bimbadeen Estate in Lambs Valley, Lambs Valley itself and Elderslie should pay particular attention to the fire,” he said.

“The fire is burning to their west.

“For the Hungerford fire, residents of Doyles Creek, Appletree Flat, Jerrys Plains and Bulga may find that they will come under, at least, ember attack.”

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