RFS continue to battle the Big Hill Trail blaze which has scorched 6000 hectares of land between Kempsey and Port Macquarie

Photo: Melissa Smith
Photo: Melissa Smith

9am, December 8: 

The fire is being pushed by north easterly winds in a south westerly direction towards the Maria River and Hastings River.

With more favourable conditions overnight, firefighters were able to continue backburning operations. This will continue today with a focus on strengthening containment lines ahead of an expected southerly wind change later this afternoon.

Residents in the vicinity of Maria River Road, Tarcoola Road, Plomer Rd, Riverside Drive, North Shore, Blackmans Point, Fernbank Creek, The Hatch and Illa Langi are advised to monitor the situation and conditions due to an increase in fire activity. Residents in these areas are also likely to experience ash and possible embers.

There is no immediate threat to homes however, residents are advised to follow their bush fire survival plan and take direction from firefighters in the area.

Maria River Road is closed between Crescent Head Road and Shoreline Drive. The M1 Pacific Highway is open however smoke is drifting across the road in the vicinity of Telegraph Point.

Smoke produced by the fire and backburning will be visible throughout today and smoke is likely to be seen across parts of the Mid North Coast throughout today.

Health warning

Smoke from this fire is currently impacting a large area. Under south easterly winds smoke may be visible along the mid north coast stretching from Crescent Head to Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Taree, Laurieton, Moorland, Krambach and as far as Nabiac.

NSW Health reminds people that children, older adults and people with heart and lung conditions are most susceptible to the effects of air pollution and excessive smoke.

If you have asthma or a lung condition, reduce outdoor activities if smoke levels are high and if shortness of breath or coughing develops, take your reliever medicine or seek medical advice.

Asthma sufferers need to follow their Asthma Action Plan and take their relieving medication where necessary. If symptoms get worse, seek medical advice.

Photo: Mikayla Priest

Photo: Mikayla Priest

10.30pm, December 7: 

The fire, which has now affected more than 6000 hectares, is being pushed by north easterly winds in a south westerly direction towards the Maria River and Hastings River.

Firefighters will take advantage of easing conditions overnight to continue backburning operations.

Residents in the vicinity of Maria River Road, Tarcoola Road, Plomer Rd, Riverside Drive, North Shore, Blackmans Point, Fernbank Creek, The Hatch and Illa Langi are advised to monitor the situation and conditions due to an increase in fire activity. Residents in these areas are also likely to experience ash and possible embers.

There is no immediate threat to homes however, residents are advised to follow their bush fire survival plan and take direction from firefighters in the area.

Maria River Road is closed between Crescent Head Road and Shoreline Drive. The M1 Pacific Highway is open however smoke is drifting across the road in the vicinity of Telegraph Point.

Smoke produced by the fire and backburning will be visible overnight and smoke is likely to settle in parts of the Mid North Coast Friday morning.

5pm, December 7: FIRE crews are expected to work through the night to contain a massive blaze that has now burned more than 4,500 hectares of coastal heath between Kempsey and Port Macquarie.

Battle continues: Fire crews will work throughout the night with water bombing aircraft to contain the fire. Photo: Michael Hinch

Battle continues: Fire crews will work throughout the night with water bombing aircraft to contain the fire. Photo: Michael Hinch

Strong winds from the north east have hampered fire-fighting operations and making containment difficult.

Fire crews are taking advantage of calmer condition throughout the night to undertake back burning and strengthen containment lines.

It is anticipated that the fire will continue to burn through the remainder of the week which will result in significant smoke and ash in the areas of Port Macquarie, North Shore, The Hatch and Telegraph Point.

Motorist travelling along the Pacific Highway (M1) in the Telegraph Point area should take care as there is smoke drift in the area.

Help: Fire crews from Tuncurry, Mitchells Island, Diamond Beach and Tinonee arrive on Riverside Drive, North Shore. Photo: Peter Daniels

Help: Fire crews from Tuncurry, Mitchells Island, Diamond Beach and Tinonee arrive on Riverside Drive, North Shore. Photo: Peter Daniels

Residents in the townships of North Shore, The Hatch, Fernbank Creek, Illa Langi Road and Plomer Road are advised there will be significant smoke and ash in the area over the coming days.

The RFS has urged residents to be ready to implement a Bush Fire Survival Plan. 

Keep key information available including the Fires Near Me app available for Android and IOS from the App Store and via the NSW RFS website www.rfs.nsw.gov.au