News State NSW News Hunter fires still causing concern

Hunter fires still causing concern

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The RFS says it is concerned the condition of two fires burning in the Hunter region could change with increasing dry winds forecast for today.

The fire burning near the Lake Macquarie suburbs of Dudley and Redhead, as well as another at Minmi west of Newcastle, were downgraded to Advice level with easing weather conditions overnight.

Crews have spent the night backburning at both areas and while the threat to property in Lake Macquarie has dropped, residents are still being warned to be vigilant.

The RFS’s Andrew Luke says the situation at the Stockrington fire at Minmi has improved after efforts overnight but the blaze is still uncontained.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done right around both of the fire grounds there,” he said.

“Whilst the firefighters have been able to work along the M1 on that side, I’ve still got work to do on that side of the fire.

“At this stage, work will continue for firefighters and certainly with these dry winds that are going to be working today, there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

He says the cooler conditions overnight did allow crews to get a lot of work done on the fire grounds.

“The great work that has been done on these fire grounds overnight does make us somewhat more confident than what we were yesterday afternoon with these fires and certainly the warning level reflects that.

“The fact that they have been able to get in and do some back burning to protect roads and protect assets in the area means that we’re going in today into a much stronger position that we were yesterday.”

‘Stuart’ lives in Boundary Street, Dudley and says it was a sleepless night worrying about ember attack on the house.

“There was a lot of helicopters around and plenty of firemen,” he said.

“I just couldn’t believe the amount of smoke coming up when I was driving home from Belmont, where I was working.

“Just seeing how much smoke was coming out of Redhead and Gateshead.”