Bushfires Threaten Properties as Highways Close Near Cessnock
Hundreds of firefighters were battling bushfires on the <span class="caps">NSW</span> Central Coast on Sunday, November 6, including one burning out of control near Port Stephens, and another major front at Cessnock in the Hunter Valley.
On Monday, November 7, the <span class="caps">NSW</span> Rural Fire Service <a href="http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/major-fire-updates/mfu?id=545" target="_blank">said the fire at Cessnock had burnt approximately 900 hectares of bushland</a> in the area between Racecourse Road, and north of Kitchener and west of Kearsley.
Major highways were closed to traffic and a number of small towns placed in lockdown on Sunday as the fire caused concern to authorities, the Sydney Morning Herald <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/better-weather-conditions-give-hope-to-fire-fighters-battling-dozens-of-blazes-across-nsw-20161105-gsixsp.html" target="_blank">reported</a>.
Drone footage captured by Purinda Gunasekara shows the extent of the blaze as it threatened bushland and emitted huge clouds of smoke over the Hunter.
On Sunday evening, the Rural Fire Service downgraded the Cessnock fire from an emergency warning to a watch and act advice level.
Conditions eased by 11am on Monday, with no immediate threat to properties in the area.