Serious bushfire prompts warning in NSW Hunter Valley

| 18.09,23. 12:27 AM |

Serious bushfire prompts warning in NSW Hunter Valley

Firefighters are gaining the upper hand as they battle a large bushfire in the New South Wales Hunter Valley

The Elcom Trail fire at Neath, about four kilometres north-east of Cessnock, had been at Watch and Act status since it broke out after midday.

About 3.30 it was downgraded to Advice status, with authorities saying it was being controlled.

A Chinook helicopter remains hovering about the fire ground , assisting multiple fire crews on the ground.

Emergency services respond to a fire
Emergency services respond to the fire as smoke billows into the sky near Cessnock.(Supplied)

Greg Allan, from the NSW Rural Fire Service, said residents in the area needed to prepare.

"We do have crews in the area that are able to provide property protection to a number of properties close to that fire edge, where it's burning is north of Cessnock Road," Mr Allan said.

"The advice for those in the area of Neath is to prepare now, monitor conditions, stay up to date, and follow your bushfire survival plan. "

Earlier, the blaze had closed Cessnock Road between Duffie Drive and Carss Road.

The Neath Hotel and its shut its doors as a precaution, but said it would be offering free water and food to emergency services.

"With this approaching bush fire we will be closing early today for the safety of our customers and staff. Stay safe everyone," the pub's social media post read.

Mr Allan said  RFS crews were on alert around the state, as temperatures reach the mid to late 30s.

"There are 68 bush and grass fires currently across the state and of those around 30 are yet to be contained with a high fire danger for the Greater Hunter," he said.

"And over coming days, we are likely to see more widespread high fire danger and potential extreme fire danger as well around Tuesday and Wednesday, with those temperatures and winds increasing right across the state."

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