Dozens Of Properties Under Threat As Fires Burn Across NSW
A number of out-of-control fires are still burning across NSW with some residents told to seek shelter as firefighters battled one of the most dangerous days so far this bushfire season.
Three emergency warnings and several watch and act alerts were issued across the state on Saturday with fears at least one property was lost and dozens more under threat.
An emergency warning was issued at around 1pm on Saturday for residents on the NSW mid-north coast as multiple blazes raged out of control and threatened properties.
Residents in the Darawank, Corrigan and Hallidays Point areas were told to seek shelter in solid structures as the fire front approached their properties earlier in the day.
The state's rural fire service said multiple bushfires were burning in the area including Minimbah and Failford Road after the flames crossed The Lakes Way and headed towards Hallidays Point.
The emergency warning was downgraded to a watch and act alert at around 8pm on Saturday evening, but the RFS warned that a forecasted wind change could affect the fire ground overnight and more the blaze closer to Hallidays Point.
"Firefighters are working to protect properties and slow the spread of the fires," the RFS said.
"If you are in the Darawank, Corrigan or Hallidays Point you should put your bush fire survival plan into action now."
Failford road remained closed between the Pacific Highway and The Lakes Motorway as a result of the blaze with motorists urged to avoid the area, the state's transport authority said.
Another emergency warning was also issued for the state's mid-north coast after a 200-hectare large blaze burned out of control at Mount George on Saturday afternoon.
The Riley Creek Trail fire has been burning for more than a week but on Saturday it broke its containment lines under strong and gusty conditions, the RFS said.
An emergency warning for residents in the Knorrit Flat and Mount George areas was downgraded on Saturday evening after conditions eased for fire crews.
The RFS said the fire still remained out of control and was moving towards Mount George.
A third emergency warning issued for Minimbar and Tuncurry on the state's mid-north-coast was also downgraded to a watch and act alert on Saturday evening.
The RFS said properties were still under threat in the area because of the risk of embers creating spot fires.
"Strong winds are carrying burning embers ahead of the main fire and into built up areas including Tuncurry and Forster," the RFS said.
An evacuation centre has been opened at Tuncurry Beach Bowling Club.
Meanwhile, in the state's North West Slopes, another fire was being controlled at Bullawa Creek in Narrabri after burning through more than 12,000 hectares.
The RFS earlier said the blaze was burning "in all directions" and crews were working to protect a number of isolated rural properties in Cotswold.
On Saturday evening firefighters said the immediate threat to homes had eased but there was still a risk of embers starting spot fires ahead of the main firefront.
Earlier Watch and Act alerts have also been downgraded for a number of other blazes including, at Tyringham in the Clarence Valley, Martinsville at Lake Macquarie, Kearsley at Cessnock, Andersons Road at Kempsey and from Carrai Creek at Armidale to Jacobs Spur in Kempsey.
As at 8:30pm on Saturday, there were 90 bush and grass fires burning across NSW, 42 of which were not contained, the RFS said.
The organisation said 1,680 firefighters, 460 trucks and 75 aircraft took part in firefighting efforts on Saturday.
Seven total fire bans were also put in place across the state on Saturday, including the greater Sydney, Hunter, north coast, New England, northern slopes, northwestern and central ranges areas.
Six of those seven areas are facing severe fire danger.
Earlier, the RFS said "extensive" lightning was detected on Friday night, stretching hundreds of kilometres across the state's south and west, and they urged people to watch out for new fires and report them immediately.
RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said Saturday was "shaping up to be one of the most dangerous" of this year's bushfire season so far due to hotter than average temperatures and very dry ground.
He also said the fact no meaningful rainfall is forecast until the new year is a "sobering signal" for firefighters and affected communities.