Spate of car fires in Cessnock sparks Hunter police driver warning

UP IN FLAMES: Police have issued a warning about car fires after several vehicles caught alight in the Cessnock area over recent days. Picture: Hunter Valley Police District

UP IN FLAMES: Police have issued a warning about car fires after several vehicles caught alight in the Cessnock area over recent days. Picture: Hunter Valley Police District

HORROR bushfire conditions have sparked a warning from Hunter police about a lesser-known risk: car fires.

With a catastrophic fire rating issued for Tuesday and a statewide fire ban in place until Wednesday, Hunter Valley police on Monday offered advice regarding safety around car fires in a bid to prevent ignition in the region.

"In Cessnock over previous days there have been a number of vehicle fires including the one in the car park of Kurri Kurri KFC," police said.

"While some car fires are usually caused by collisions, they are more often caused by problems with a vehicle's electrical wiring, fuel system or even cigarettes left in the car."

Police recommended having systems checked regularly during services and keeping a fire extinguisher in the vehicle.

"Should you find yourself in the situation of a vehicle fire, shut off the engine," police said. "This will stop the flow of fuel, which can prevent a full-blown fire from occurring. Get yourself and all passengers out of the car, and move to a safe place."

Tuesday's Hunter fire danger warning comes as firefighters continue to wage war on the ferocious northern NSW blazes that have claimed three lives and destroyed 150 homes.