Rural Fire Service declares total fire ban in the Hunter

INFERNO: A firefighter on the scene at Tuesday's blaze near Kurri Kurri. The RFS has declared a total fire ban on Wednesday. Picture: MJF Productions

INFERNO: A firefighter on the scene at Tuesday's blaze near Kurri Kurri. The RFS has declared a total fire ban on Wednesday. Picture: MJF Productions

FIREFIGHTERS are not taking any chances, declaring a total fire ban in the Hunter for Wednesday.

It comes after a 35-hectare blaze broke out in the Coalfields on Tuesday, which is believed to have spread from an earlier car fire.

Firefighters were back-burning near Richmond Vale, between Mulbring and Kurri Kurri, into the night in the hope of containing the fire by the morning.

Sixteen fire units and two aircraft were on the scene for much of the day, but property was not under threat.

Other fires burning around the Hunter were largely under control ahead of Wednesday’s forecast 33-degree maximum.

Firefighters were keeping an eye on the Heatons Lookout fire, near Freemans Waterhole, which had spread to 835 hectares and was still being controlled.

However, the fire was burning in a remote area and was not threatening property.

Rural Fire Service Lower Hunter acting manager Martin Siemson warned that any flare-ups on Wednesday would be “extremely difficult” to contain.

“It is a total fire ban and at this stage we’ve advised a severe fire danger rating,” he said.

“If any new ignitions were to occur they would be extremely difficult to contain. We’re asking people to be vigilant.”

Last week, the Newcastle Herald reported that the Hunter’s fire season had started a month early, with ground fuels potent from a hot and dry winter.

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