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Port Stephens - bush fire response update

Publish Date 18/10/2013

More than 500 Port Stephens residents registered for assistance at the King Park, Raymond Terrace bushfire evacuation centre since its establishment at 1.30pm Thursday.

The centre was established by Port Stephens Council on behalf of emergency services after the Hank Street, Heatherbrae bushfire flared in high north westerly winds on Thursday afternoon.

An emergency evacuation centre was also established at the Tomaree Sports Complex at Nelson Bay.

The Hank Street fire which has now burnt out approximately 4,700 hectares of land affected properties in the Heatherbrae, Tomago, Williamtown and Fullerton Cove areas prior to sunset, resulting in the closure of the Newcastle Airport.

Following a southerly change in the early evening, the fire changed course resulting in evacuation in Campvale, Medowie and east Raymond Terrace throughout the night.

A watch and act warning is currently in place, issued by the Rural Fire Service, and back burning efforts are being undertaken where possible.

Council staff and representatives from NSW Police, the Rural Fire Service, the Department of Family & Community Services, the Salvation Army, Red Cross, RSPCA, the NSW Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network, and the Adventist Development & Relief Agency manned the King Park evacuation centre overnight providing support and assistance to evacuees. Council officers also established road closures throughout the local government area as well as maintaining a presence at the Emergency Operations Centre overnight.

Council officers will today conduct inspections on roads most affected by the bushfire before any decision is made to reopen them to traffic.

Updates:

General Fire Information:

The Rural Fire Service is providing regular updates on the Port Stephens fire as well as others burning across the state on its website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.

Traffic & Transport Information:

Road:

Information about road closures is available via the Live Traffic NSW website at www.livetraffic.com.

At the time of writing, the following roads in the Port Stephens area are closed:

RICHARDSON ROAD, between Grahamstown Road and Medowie Road.

MASONITE ROAD, between the Pacific Highway and Cabbage Tree Road.

CABBAGE TREE ROAD, between Masonite Road and Nelson Bay Road.

TOMAGO ROAD, between Old Punt Road and Cabbage Tree Road.

Please note this information is subject to change and roads may be closed without warning.

Air:

Newcastle Airport is open and operational with flights re-commencing this morning.

For more information visit the Newcastle Airport website at www.newcastleairport.com.au.

All travellers are advised to contact their airline before travelling to the airport.