New South Wales fire crews battle over 50 blazes as bushfire season begins


Australia's bushfire season has started, with crews in New South Wales battling more than 50 fires. 

The biggest bush fires are in the Hunter Valley region and Port Stephens.

The blazes are fast-moving and unpredictable, already burning through 6500 hectares.

“That quick, a man running would've been flat out keeping up with them,” said one local.

Fire crews are flat out, facing a wall of flames on more than 50 fronts, with 17 fires are still out of control.

Water-bombing aircraft have been called in, dumping thousands of litres of fire retardant.

“We came close there, we've been very lucky… a few wind changes and a few helicopter bombers sort of kept it away from the place,” said another local.

Schools are closed and residents aren't taking any chances.

“We had to get the children out this morning. We sent them and the grandmother out of town to the river where they're going to be safe, and we stayed here to look after the place a bit,” said another local.

But getting out could be difficult; the main escape route, the Pacific Highway, closed yesterday when the flames got too close.

Fire crews and residents are now readying themselves for the worst-case scenario.


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