News Emergency warning for bushfire near Newcastle

Emergency warning for bushfire near Newcastle

A pillar of thick smoke marks the fire's progress toward Newcastle's airport. ABC/Greg Broadley
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Newcastle Airport is closed and a swimming pool and bowling alley are being evacuated as emergency warnings continue for twin bushfires burning towards Richardson Road, Tomago, just north of Newcastle.

The two fires are approximately 472 hectares in total and are both heading in a northerly direction. Originally, a single fire was quickly travelling east towards Newcastle Airport, before splitting in two.

The fire was downgraded to watch and act advice level at around 6:00pm after being an emergency situation for most of Saturday afternoon.

The airport has been closed and all flights cancelled for this afternoon and this evening.

A bowling alley and aquatic centre were being evacuated in Raymond Terrace.

Richardson Rd was closed in both directions from Benjamin Lee Drive at Raymond Tce to Medowie Road.

Residents in the south-eastern part of Raymond Tce along Benjamin Lee Drive and on Richmond Road at Campvale are advised to remain in place as the fire approached.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) to seek shelter as the fire approaches.

One of the fires clouds the air with the smoke of destruction near Tomago .

Residents in Barry Close, Cabbage Tree Rd, Masonite Rd and areas close to the southern end of Newcastle Airport should continue to monitor the situation.

“Check and follow your bushfire survival plan and prepare for a bushfire in your area,” RFS advice said.

The RFS said the firefighters on the scene were assisted by waterbombing aircraft including the large Nancy Bird.

Greg Allan from the RFS said there were no reports of loss of property.

A stronger southerly change was expected across the fire ground at 7:00pm.