Emergency warning issued as bushfire rages towards Hunter Valley homes

AN Emergency Warning has been issued for a bushfire burning towards homes in the NSW Hunter Valley.

The blaze at Richmond Vale, near Cessnock, is now burning out-of-control between Pelaw Main and Mulbring after jumping containment lines on Wednesday morning.

As a result, the NSW Rural Fire Service issued an Emergency Warning for residents in the area shortly after 11am.


Flames have crossed Leggetts Drive and are now spreading towards homes in an easterly direction, the RFS says.

Authorities warn a number of properties are under threat around Leggetts Drive, Orchid Road, Whitebridge Road, Richmond Vale Road, and Sheppeard Road.

Emergency Alert telephone warning messages have been sent to people in the area.

Residents on Sheppeards Lane are being urged to leave in a northerly direction now if the path is clear.

People in the area of Stanford Merthyr are being warned to monitor the conditions and leave now in the direction away from the fire if it is your plan to do so.

Residents are urged to seek shelter and protect themselves from the heat if the fire impacts on their property.

It’s understood the fire has ripped through almost 400 hectares of bushland so far.

As many as 14 fire trucks and 45 firefighters are on the scene working to contain the blaze and protect property.

They’re being assisted by several fixed-wing water-bombing planes and two helicopters.

Joining the fleet of firefighting aircraft is ‘Thor’ – the large C-130 Hercules air tanker from North America.

The jumbo-jet arrived in Australia in 2015 ahead of the 2015-16 bushfire season.

The tanker can dump more than 15,000 litres of water or fire retardant on a blaze within a few seconds and can hit a cruising speed of 545 kilometres an hour, allowing it to reach most fires across NSW within just 60 minutes.

The blaze in the Hunter Valley comes amid severe fire danger in the Greater Sydney Region, Greater Hunter, North Coast and North Western regions.

Total fire bans have also been declared across much of the state as temperatures soar into the mid-30s and strong north-westerly wind gusts reach 70km/h.

For more information on this fire, click here.