ROLLING COVERAGE: Heatherbrae fire threat remains

FRIDAY, 12.30am: The Hank Street fire in the Heatherbrae area has been regraded to an emergency warning.

The Hank Street Fire has been burning under difficult weather conditions and has burnt around 3,500 hectares of bush land.  More than 100 firefighters are working to protect properties in the area.

This fire is still very active and is burning in the area of Lisadell Road.

Property protection is being undertaken along Richardson Road, Medowie Road, Grahamstown Road, Lisadell Road, Ferodale Road, Hank Street.

An emergency alert telephone warning message has been sent to residents between Medowie Road, Medowie and Raymond Terrace. This alert is still in place.

Residents from Salt Ash, Fullerton Cove and Nelson Bay Road are now able to return to their properties.

Road Closures:

Medowie Road to Brockelsby.

Medowie Road to Richardson Road.

Cabbage Tree Road to Masonite Road.

Richardson Road to Lakeside Road.

Masonite Road from the Pacific Highway.

Nelson Bay Road is now open. Please be aware that as the fire progresses through Medowie roads may be impacted and closed without notice.

10.30pm:  This fire is still very active and is movingi n a north westerly direction towards Joseph Sheen Drive. Smoke is crossing the Pacific Highway and also north-easterly into Medowie where properties are coming under threat. It also is heading north across Raymond Terrace Bypass.

An Emergency Alert telephone warning message has been sent to residents between Medowie Road, Medowie and Raymond Terrace.

10pm: The fire is moving in a northerly direction towards Joseph Sheen Drive. Smoke is crossing the Pacific Highway. Newcastle Link Road is closed between Lake Road and Minmi Road in Cameron Park and Wallsend. Newcastle Airport is also still closed.

Evacuation Centres are established at Tomaree Sports Club, Nelson Bay Road, Nelson Bay, and  Wests Mayfield, 32 Industrial Road, Mayfield

9pm:  The Hank Street fire has been burning under difficult weather conditions and has burnt around 3500 heactares of bushland.  It has been confirmed that  the fire has crossed Richardson Road between Grahamstown Dam and Camp Vale and is heading north towards Medowie.

An emergency alert telephone warning message has been sent to residents between Medowie Road, Medowie and Raymond Terrace. This is still in place.

Residents in these areas are adviced to shelter in place as the fire front approaches. Protect your self from the heat of the fire.

These are very dangerous conditions and fire behaviour is erratic, authorities warn. Be aware that the situation in this area could change very quickly.

Firefighters are being moved into the Campvale area and are prepared to protect properties.

Road closures: The Pacific Highway is closed in both directions between Lake Munmorah and Nords Wharf due to a bushfire. Avoid the area as there is no alternative route. The 7pm road closures are still effective.

7pm: A large scrub fire is burning out of control in a south easterly direction, towards the intersection of Nelson Bay Road and Cabbage Tree Road.

These are very dangerous conditions and fire behaviour is erratic. Be aware that the situation in this area could change very quickly. More than 100 firefighters supported by aircraft and working on this fire.

Road Closures

The Pacific Highway is closed in both directions between Lake Munmorah and Nords Wharf due to a bushfire. Motorists are advised to avoid the area as there is no alternative route.

Avoid all non-essential travel in Tomago, Heatherbrae and Williamtown as many roads remain closed due to the bushfires.

Tomago Road and Cabbage Tree Road remain closed between Old Punt Road and Nelson Bay Road.

Nelson Bay Road and Medowie Road remain closed between Vardon Road and Richardson Road.

Masonite Road also remains closed between Cabbage Tree Road and Archibald Place.

Newcastle Airport is also still closed.

6.03pm An emergency warning has been issued by NSW Rural Fire Service for the Hank Street Fire in the Heatherbrae area.

The large scrub fire is burning out of control in a south easterly direction, towards the intersection of Nelson Bay Road and Cabbage Tree Road. These are very dangerous conditions and fire behaviour is erratic. 

The NSW RFS has said to be "aware that the situation in this area could change very quickly".

More than 100 firefighters supported by aircraft are working to stop the fire.

Firefighters are preparing to protect properties along Cabbage Tree Road as the fire progresses.

There are reports that Williamtown Airport is under threat. There is also fire activity near the Tomago Aluminium Plant.

Newcastle Airport is closed - for more information go to www.newcastleairport.com.au

5.28pm: The NSW Rural Fire Service has issued an emergency warning for Hungerford Creek, Muswellbrook, due to "a fast moving bush fire". 

The fire is currently 2000 hectares in size and is out of control, moving in a south-easterly direction.

Rural properties at Martindale Valley, Horseshoe Valley, and Kings Creek are likely to be impacted by fire and residents are advised to leave now.

Embers are currently falling in the Martindale Valley.

Embers may be blown up to 6km ahead of the fire, creating spot fires that will move quickly and in different directions. 

These spot fires may threaten your home earlier than the predicted main fire front.

5.17pm: A fire is threatening homes on Albury Street, Abermain.

Hungerford Creek (Muswellbrook): A fire is heading from the south towards the Denman area.

5pm: There are reports of fires approaching Cessnock and Abermain.

4pm:  The Pacific Highway is now closed in both directions between Hexham Bridge and Richardson Road due to a bushfire that continues to burn in the area.

Motorists are advised to avoid all non-essential travel north of Newcastle.

Motorists needing to travel on the Pacific Highway can use the New England Highway, Raymond Terrace Road, Adelaide Street and Richardson Road, however this diversion is not suitable for B-doubles.  Additionally, Nelson Bay Road is closed between Vardon Road in Fern Bay and Richardson Road in Salt Ash.

Motorists are also advised to avoid Maitland Road and Industrial Drive as traffic is very heavy, and use Newcastle Road and the M1 Pacific Motorway as an alternative route instead.

3.35pm: School students who live in the Williamtown and Cabbage Tree areas are being evacuated to King Park Sports Complex.

3.20pm: Properties around Tomago Road, Cabbage Tree Road, Barrie Close, and Williamtown Drive may come under threat. This fire is burning in a south easterly direction and has crossed Cabbage Tree Road, heading toward Fullerton Cove.

Cabbage Tree Road is closed between Old Punt Road and Nelson Bay Road. Nelson Bay Road is closed Lavis Lane and Coxs Lane.

School students who live in the Williamtown and Cabbage Tree areas are being evacuated to King Park Sports Complex - 23 Newline Road, Raymond Terrace.

2.37pm: Nelson Bay Road is now closed between Stockton and Medowie Road due to a bushfire in the area.

Motorists are advised to delay travel between Newcastle and Nelson Bay.

2.33pm: The Heatherbrae fire is expected to engulf the service station at end of Cabbage Tree Road. It will be water bombed.

2.12pm: The fire is fast approaching homes that back onto Cabbage Tree Road and residents are walking horses away from danger.

A Rural Fire Service crew is trying to get two horses out of danger while they protect a property.

Lakeside in Raymond Terrace has been evacuated because the fire is endangering homes.

Newcastle Airport has been closed for the day and planes diverted.

Residents are still being evacuated. An elderly couple on Barrie Close refused to leave.RFS crews were fighting the fire at the couple's back fence.

The wind direction is changing which is making fighting the fire difficult.

1.45pm: A number of roads are now closed in Heatherbrae, Tomago and Williamtown in the Hunter region due to a bushfire burning in Heatherbrae.

* Masonite Road is closed between Archibald Place and Cabbage Tree Road.

* Tomago Road is closed between Old Punt Road and Masonite Road.

* Cabbage Tree Road is closed between Masonite Road and Nelson Bay Road.

* Motorists wanting to travel to Nelson Bay from the Pacific Highway are advised to use the Pacific Highway, Medowie Road and Nelson Bay Road. 

* Motorists wanting to travel between Newcastle and Nelson Bay can continue to use Nelson Bay Road.

Motorists travelling in the area are advised to exercise caution as smoke in the area is affecting visibility. Allow additional travel time. 

Newcastle Airport is also closed.

Additionally, as a result of the road closures, Route 135 and 137 buses are also diverting away from Masonite Road. A number of bus stops are being missed.

For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com or call 132 701. For the latest public transport information, visit www.131500.com.au or call 131 500.

12.30pm: Properties around Tomago Road, Cabbage Tree Road, Barrie Close, and Williamtown Drive may come under threat.

This fire is burning in a south easterly direction. Smoke is also visible from the Newcastle CBD.

Newcastle Airport is closed - for more information go to www.newcastleairport.com.au.

11am: Firefighters have urged anyone in Heatherbrae to leave immediately after a fire breached containment lines.

The gusty winds have created a huge problem for firefighters trying to get the blaze under control.

The fire is burning towards Tomago Road and properties around that road and Cabbage Tree Road may come under threat.

If you plan to leave or are not prepared, leave now if the path is clear, firefighters have said.

If your life is at risk call triple-0.

Advice

Follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan.  If you do not have a Bush Fire Survival Plan, ensure you know what you will do if the fire threatens your property.

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