WINDY conditions are throwing large plumes of thick smoke into the sky as firefighters battle a bush fire at Neath.
Lower Hunter Rural Fire Service NSW operational officer David Allan said there's still a large area of bush burning within containment lines but firefighters are confident they can keep it under control.
"When the winds picked up we had lots of smoke coming out, but there are a number of fire appliances on scene monitoring the situation to make sure it doesn't escape," he said.
"We also have two water bombing helicopters assisting on a couple of spots."
The fires inside the containment lines have fanned up even more smoke, but Mr Allan said it isn't thick enough that Cessnock Road needs to be closed at this stage.
At least 12 fire trucks are at the scene to keep the fire, which currently covers about 69 hectares of bushland, under control.
It's been a rough 24 hours for Hunter Valley Animal Facility and Rehoming Centre founder Peta Smith, who had to evacuate 45 dogs, 15 cats and four guinea pigs from her property as the fire loomed closer yesterday.
"At the moment it's very smoky, I do believe they have the fire up the road from us is under control this afternoon but we're having spot fires that keep cropping up everywhere throwing plumes of smoking in all different directions which is a bit concerning," she said.
"We had some spot fires come across the road and they were only about 10 metres from our front gate, so we made the call to evacuate from site.
"We brought them back last night and everything was okay until these flare ups around lunch time today."
Ms Smith said her and her team haven't had any sleep yet as they continue to wait, watch and monitor the Fires Near Me app for information.
"It's all anyone in Neath can do at the moment, it's hard with so many animals and people to coordinate - last night was the first time we've had to evacuate so it's been a steep learning curve," she said.
"They're anticipating it will be hot and windy for the next 48 hours, so we'll be on alert, prepared and ready to enact our plan if it comes to that again."
For more up to date information visit the RFS website.
CESSNOCK Road has reopened in both directions after a bush fire broken out near Neath on Sunday.
According to the NSW RFS, the Elcom Trail blaze now covers 60 hectares but is under control.
The threat level is still at 'Advice' and residents in the areas of Abermain and Neath are urged to continue to monitor conditions on the NSW RFS website.
CESSNOCK Road is closed in both directions as firefighters continue to battle a bush fire that broke out near Neath earlier today.
Drivers are being urged to avoid the area, use diversions and exercise caution with the road closed between Duffie Drive and Carss Road.
According to Live Traffic NSW, diversions are in place at Lake Road and Leggets Drive in both directions.
The fire has jumped the road and is now on both sides of the highway, according to Neath Hotel publican Kristi Horvath who has been busy hosing down the pub and handing out free drinks and water to volunteer firefighters.
"We actually saw it coming across the road about 11:30am," she said.
"Once it started getting closer we hosed down the pub, we were evacuated briefly and then brought back in but it looks like the fire has kicked back off."
Ms Horvath said there are large plumes of black smoke billowing from the bush fire about 100m down the road from the pub.
"Across the road in the bushland where the fire is there are some homes, there's a lot of black smoke so whether it's hit a few sheds or not I don't know, but it looks like it," she said.
"There's actually a dog rehoming centre that was right in the brunt of it, I don't know how they've fared but there's usually 30 to 40 dogs there that they look to rehome."
It's unclear at this stage how the blaze started, but the fire has been downgraded from 'Watch and Act' to 'Advice'.
According to the RFS, conditions and fire activity have eased. The fire was elevated to 'Watch and Act' earlier this afternoon when fire activity grew.
People around Neath and Abermain have been urged to continue to monitor conditions, stay up to date and follow their Bush Fire Survival Plan.
FIREFIGHTERS are battling to control a bush fire that broke out north of Cessnock Road at Neath.
Rural Fire Service crews arrived at the scene about 4km north east of Cessnock on the Elcom Trail this afternoon.
A 'Watch and Act' alert level is in place and the blaze is currently out of control, covering a distance of 18 hectares.
The Chinook helicopter has reportedly been tasked to the fire to assist firefighters who are positioned and ready to assist with property protection if needed.
Residents of Neath and surrounding areas are urged prepare now, continue to monitor conditions and follow their Bush Fire Survival plan.
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