Emergency Fire Alert Sent To Sydney Homes

An out-of-control bushfire is threatening homes in northwest Sydney.

The NSW Rural Fire Service urged South Maroota residents to seek shelter in an emergency warning issued about 4.20pm on Saturday.

The fire is burning in the area around Sackville Ferry Road, Tuff Hill Lane and Gallaghers Road and being fanned by strong, gusty winds from a storm passing over Sydney.

"This is causing erratic winds so the fire continues to flare in a number of different directions," RFS spokesman Ben Shepherd said.

Firefighting aircraft are being sent to assist crews on the ground.

Earlier, a watch-and-act warning was issued and the Pacific Highway was closed after a bushfire ignited in Hexham in Newcastle.

The fire passed a retirement village in the area and burned about two hectares before it "basically" ran out of fuel, Shepherd said.