Crestwood-Lake Cathie bushfire a 'big wake up call' for residents without bush fire survival plans

The aftermath: The fire swept southward to Lake Cathie and as far east as Ocean Drive. Photo: Lake Cathie Rural Fire Brigade.
The aftermath: The fire swept southward to Lake Cathie and as far east as Ocean Drive. Photo: Lake Cathie Rural Fire Brigade.

Hastings residents without fire survival plans have been given a 'big wake up call' from the now-contained Crestwood-Lake Cathie bushfire, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS).

Fast moving bushfires like the Crestwood-Lake Cathie blaze are a serious warning for residents to be prepared and have a plan in place, said NSW RFS district officer Kirsty Channon.

"It was a rapidly moving fire which burnt quite a long way in a short period of time and we did have to issue those emergency alerts at the time," Ms Channon said.

"It's not unusual to have fires in that area but the fact that we have large fires at this time of the year, all at once is unusual.

"Certainly it's a big wake up call for everyone to have their bushfire survival plan in place and be prepared for the season.

"There was a mixture of people with and without plans but it is so much easier when people do have a plan and are prepared especially with fast moving fires like that one.

"This has been an opportunity for everybody to see how fast things can move and how easily it is to come under threat.

"We can't stress enough for people to have their bushfire survival plan ready to go and have their properties prepared ahead of a long fire season."

The bushfire elicited a multi-agency response from NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Fire and Rescue, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Forestry Corporation, NSW State Emergency Services and the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.

Firefighters will now focus their attention on three bushfires near Telegraph Point and more than 17 fires burning in the Mid-North Coast area.

"Firefighters continued to work on the (Lake Cathie) fire ground over the weekend supported by aircraft. Crews will continue to work on monitoring and mop up of that fire," she said.

"The fires near Telegraph Point are all listed as controlled and we have firefighters on the ground supported by heavy plant and aircraft to strengthen those containment lines and contain them."

More favourable weather over coming days will allow fire agencies and land managers to complete important back burns in the Port Macquarie area, said NSW RFS superintendent Kam Baker.

"Although some rain is forecast for the Port Macquarie area, it will not be enough to completely extinguish the fires on the Mid-Coast area," Mr Baker said.

"Firefighters will be using this break in the weather to commence a number of back burns on the Gum Scrub, O'Learys and Mine Fires ahead of warm, dry and windy weather later in the week.

"Over 200 firefighters from the NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire Rescue NSW, National Parks and Forest Corp continue to work in often difficult terrain to contain the fires burning in the Port Macquarie area.

"These firefighters will continue to be supported by the heavy plant and aircraft.

"While our firefighters will be doing everything to prepare for the next wave of hot weather we cannot stress enough the importance of households preparing their own properties and having a plan."