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Risk rating elevated for Little L Complex, Crumps Road bushfires near Wollombi as 20,000 hectares burns

5.30pm Thursday:

The Little L Complex fire west of Wollombi remained at emergency warning level at 5.30pm.

According to the Rural Fire Service, blazes at Martins Creek Road, Paterson, and Paddock Run near Singleton remained at watch and act in the late afternoon while the rest of the Hunter fires were at advice level.

Meanwhile, Forestry Corporation of NSW says state forests will be closed on Friday because of the fire risk.

The one-day closure affects Olney, Ourimbah, Pokolbin, Heaton, Watagan, Wyong, Awaba and Strickland State Forests.

2.30pm Thursday:

The bushfire at Little L Complex near Wollombi was upgraded to emergency warning status just before 2.30pm.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said in advice issued just before 2.30pm the out-of-control blaze, which has burnt 21,227 hectares, was moving in an easterly direction and fire activity had increased.

"If you are in the area of Laguna or Yengo areas leave now towards Cessnock," the RFS advice said.

"If you are in the area of Boree, it is too late to leave. Seek shelter as the fire approaches. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

"If you are in the area of Wollombi and Congewai, decide now what you will do if you're threatened by fire. The safest option is to leave early, such as early in the day - and return only when it is safe. Only stay if you and your property is well prepared. Stay up to date on the bush fire situation and be ready to take action.

"If you are in the areas of Stockyard Creek, Quart Pot Creek, Paynes Crossing, Buckety, Yallambie, Blaxlands Arm and Yengo, monitor conditions. Know what you will do if the fire threatens. If your plan is to leave, leaving early is the safest option."

Bushfires at Martins Creek Road, Paterson, and Paddock Run near Singleton remained at watch and act while the rest of the Hunter fires were at advice level at the time of publication.

The RFS has declared a total fire ban for the Hunter for Friday as another day of severe conditions is forecast.

The ban, announced just before 2.30pm, includes Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter.

12pm Thursday:

THREE Hunter fires have been upgraded to watch and act level throughout Thursday morning.

Blazes at Martins Creek Road, Paterson, as well as Paddock Run near Singleton and the Little L Complex near Wollombi were each re-classified.

More than 10 bushfires remained burning in the Hunter region at lunch time on Thursday, with most remaining at the advice alert level.

There is a total fire ban in place across the Hunter for Thursday.

The Rural Fire Service has labelled the bushfire danger for the region as severe for the day.

The fires at Howes Valley. Picture: Edinglassie Rural Fire Brigade

The fires at Howes Valley. Picture: Edinglassie Rural Fire Brigade

8.30am Thursday: MOST Hunter fires have dropped to advice level overnight, but firefighters remain on high alert.

A total fire ban is in place for Thursday after fires at Howes Valley and Paterson raced to emergency level on Wednesday evening.

The Paddock fire, which is burning in the Howes Valley area outside Singleton, remains at watch and act level.

Paterson's Martins Creek Road blaze, the Leggetts Drive fire at Pelaw Main, Singleton's Little L Complex and the Crumps Road fire at Cessnock have all dropped to advice level.

Residents in areas including Wollombi, Laguna, Congewai, Red Hill, Duns Creek, Averys Lane at Stanford Merthyr, Howes Valley, Reedy Creek, Garland Valley, Wicketty Wees, Clear Farm, Putty, Stockyard Creek, Quart Pot Creek, Paynes Crossing, Buckety, Yallambie, Boree, Blacksland Arm and Yengo are urged to monitor conditions and decide what they will do if a bushfire threatens their home.

9pm Wednesday:

The two emergency warnings for the Martins Creek Road fire and Paddock fires have been downgraded to watch and act.

7.30pm:

TWO Hunter fires have hit emergency warning level.

The Martins Creek Road fire is burning east of Paterson and spreading southwest towards Red Hill and Dun Creek. Firefighters warn that anyone in the path of the fire is at risk.

It is too late to leave Red Hill or Dun Creek, where residents are urged to protect themselves from the heat of the fire and seek shelter as it approaches.

The Paddock fire in Singleton local government area has also been elevated to an emergency warning, the top NSW Rural Fire Service classification.

The fire is burning east of the Putty Road near Howes Valley and Garland Valley.

Firefighters warn the blaze is spreading quickly to the east towards Reedy Creek and Howes Valley.

Several other fires are burning in the area, including the watch and act Little L Complex blaze.

Residents at Howes Valley and Reedy Creek are urged to seek shelter as the fire front arrives and protect themselves from the heat of the fire.

Those in Garland Valley, Wicketty Wees and Clear Farm should monitor the situation and know what to do if the fire threatehsn them. Putty residents are urged to monitor conditions and decide what to do if the situation changes.

Leaving early is the safest option.

Picture: Marina Neil

Picture: Marina Neil

4.50pm:

John Renshaw Drive is closed between George Booth Drive and Wallsend Street as bushfires surge through the Coalfields.

Yango Creek Road and Great North Road are both closed from Wollombi to Laguna and Bucketty respectively.

The Gospers Mountain fire burning between the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast has hit emergency warning level, but the Hunter fires remain at watch and act.

The Gospers fire is threatening Colo Heights, the NSW Rural Fire Service advises.

4.10pm:

Two NSW Fire and Rescue crews were called to a bushfire burning near Charles and Albert streets at Warners Bay around 3.40pm.

Crews are still on the scene now and are working to extinguish the fire, but a spokesperson for Fire NSW said there was no indication property or homes were under threat, and the fire is not believed to be serious.

Crews will continue to work at the scene and monitor the situation as it develops.

3.45PM:

An out of control bushfire is burning at Warners Bay, the Rural Fire Service reports.

The Charles Street fire sparked about 3.30pm and was burning out of control.

No further details were immediately available.

Four of the state's seven watch and act fires - Leggetts Drive, Paddock Run, Crumps Road and Little L Complex - are burning in Hunter local government areas.

The conditions have led Cessnock City Council to scrap a planning fireworks display at Friday night's Carols in the Park.

"Council would like to thank Ka-Boom Fireworks for their understanding," the council said in a statement.

Mayor Bob Pynsent will instead seek to have the funds allocated for the display donated to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

2.30PM:

Four Hunter fires remain at watch and act level as firefighters brace for afternoon conditions they predict could fan the flames.

Fire activity is increasing on the Paddock Run, Little L Complex, Crumps Road and Leggetts Drive fires, prompting the heightened alert from firefighters.

Hunter Valley firefighters have advised residents in Garland Valley, Howes Valley, Putty and Reedy Creek to monitor conditions closely.

"Well prepared homes that are actively defended can provide safety," the Hunter Valley RFS said in a statement.

"Only stay if you are physically and mentally prepared to defend in these conditions. If you are not prepared, leave early in the day."

Roads in the Singleton and Cessnock areas remain closed as a result.

The NSW RFS said its crews were working in the Leggetts Drive area to protect homes, and residents in Averys Lane at Stanford Merthyr are urged to monitor conditions and decide what they will do if a bushfire threatens.

1.30PM:

Firefighters at Pelaw Main are working to protect homes after the fire sparked by a fatal crash outside Kurri Kurri on Tuesday flared up.

The Leggetts Drive fire, which sparked after a fatal crash at Pelaw Main on Tuesday, remained at advice level throughout the morning but hopped back to watch and act shortly before 1pm.

"If you are in the area of Averys Lane, Stanford Merthyr, monitor conditions. Know what you will do if the fire threatens," the RFS advised.

"Take advice from firefighters in the area."

Firefighters warned that the fire was burning to the south of John Renshaw Drive and moving north to north-easterly.

It was also moving south toward the Richmond Vale area.

The Leggetts Drive fire, Crumps Road fire, Little L Complex blaze and Padduck Run fire in Singleton local government area all remain at watch and act on Wednesday afternoon.

12PM:

FIRE activity has increased on two of the region's fire grounds, prompting the NSW Rural Fire service to step up its warnings.

At Cessnock, the Crumps Road fire near Cedar Creeek continues to burn in the Corrabare State Forest east of Wollombi.

The out of control blaze has scorched more than 2000 hectares as it burns on multiple fronts.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said shortly before midday there was no immediate threat to property and crews were working to slow the fire's spread.

Residents in Narone Creek and Congewai are urged to monitor conditions as a separate fire, the Little L Complex, burns west of Wollombi.

The Little L Complex fire is at the same watch and act warning level as it burns west of Paynes Crossing, Laguna and Wollombi.

Firefighters predict the 18,000-hectare blaze in Yengo National Park could build in the afternoon as winds and higher temperatures fan the flames.

The fire is moving east towards properties and the Great North Road, firefighters said before midday, and remains active in the Finchley Track area to Laguna's west.

Spot fires have also sparked at Stockyard Creek and Quart Pot Creek and firefighters are working to protect property wherever they can.

Cessnock City Council said the Great North Road is closed to non-residents between Wollombi and Bucketty, as well as Paynes Crossing Road from Broke to Wollombi.

At Singleton, the Paddock Run fire burning in the Garland and Howes valleys is more than 3100 hectares and has also been upgraded to watch and act.

"If you are in the area of Garland Valley, Howes Valley, Reedy Creek, Wicketty Wees, Clear Farm, monitor the situation. Know what to do if the fire threatens," the RFS advises.

"If you are in Putty area, monitor conditions. Check and follow your bush fire survival plan. If you do not have a plan, decide what you will do if the situation changes. Leaving early is the safest option."

The blaze is burning towards the east, with smoke potentially impacting Putty Road later today.

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This story RFS advise residents near Laguna and Yengo to leave now as Wollombi fire upgraded first appeared on Newcastle Herald.