Upper Hunter on EXTREME fire alert

October 25, 2023 7:10 am in by
A map showing the Scone fire as at 7:00am this morning. Image: NSWRFS website

The Upper Hunter is on full alert today with an EXTREME FIRE DANGER forecast for our region.

A TOTAL FIRE BAN is in place across our three local government areas with two major fires currently burning.

The Barton Street Fire in Scone has already destroyed over 1100 hectares of grass and bushland.

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Firefighters have containment lines in place around all sides of the blaze, but these will be put to the test today under EXTREME FIRE DANGER conditions from as early as 10 o’clock this morning until around 8 tonight.

The Rural Fire Service is concerned the fire will cross Gundy Road today fanned by winds of up to 35 kilometres per hour and head back towards homes on the eastern side of Scone.

The blaze is at the ADVICE alert level but could quickly be upgraded to WATCH AND ACT or EMERGENCY WARNING under the conditions we face in the hours ahead.

RFS Liverpool Range Superintendent Paul McGrath says locals in the potential path of the fire must be extremely vigilant today.

The second fire of concern is at Baerami Creek. It has been burning since Sunday afternoon as well.

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60 firefighters continue to work on trying to put the fire out in rough hard-to-access terrain.

A strike team of firefighters was brought in from the Central Coast late yesterday to give local crews from Muswellbrook and Singleton a break after two days of hard work.

An aircraft was also diverted from the Scone fire after the blaze flared up.

So far 420 hectares of remote bushland have been burned through.

The fire is currently listed at an ADVICE alert level but categorised as ‘out of control’.

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RFS Hunter Valley District Superintendent Mark Denton said this could easily change under today’s weather conditions.

Fire authorities warn the landscape has dried out further in recent days because of the hot temperatures and dry winds.

A high of 35 degrees is forecast today.

Several other small fires have ignited over the past 24 hours including at Glennies Creek Road at Camberwell, Wilkinson Street Muswellbrook and this morning on Wollombi Road Muswellbrook.