LIVE COVERAGE: Campvale Bushfire Emergency

All the latest information..

23 November 2018

Article heading image for LIVE COVERAGE: Campvale Bushfire Emergency


All roads in the area have reopened. 



Great news on the roads, with only Lemon Tree Passage Road between Nelson Bay and Brown Roads still closed. 

However drivers are being urged to avoid non-essential travel.



The Campvale fire has finally been downgraded to WATCH AND ACT. 

Conditions have improved at the firegrounds, but it's yet to be contained. 



Nelson Bay Road has just been closed again. It's not expected to reopen for several hours.

While severe turbulence has affected the water-bombing aircraft's ability to fly - which may ground its planes and helicopters for periods of time. 



The fire has come dangerously close to the Pacific Dunes Golf Club today. 



There's been several reports of spot fires around the Campvale firegrounds with emergency phone warnings being sent to people in the area.

R-F-S teams are at the southern side of the firegounds and are in position to protect properties along Nelson Bay Road if required.

Residents are being urged to seek shelter if the fire approaches and heed the advice of firefighters in the area.



There's now close to 200 firefighters working on the Campvale blaze from across the state. 

Former PM Tony Abbott has been spotted doing his part, as he's a member of the Rural Fire Service. 



There's now a TOTAL FIRE BAN in place across the Hunter, with wind gusts forecast to reach as high as 90km/h. 



Nelson Bay Road is now open to traffic, however there is still no access to the Tilligerry Peninsula.


Newcastle Airport is fully operational and the airspace remains open this morning. Passengers are advised to get there early due to traffic delays.



There is no access to the Tilligerry or Tomaree peninsulas. Roads could be closed for several hours.

Traffic is very heavy on Cabbage Tree Road.



The bushfire at Salt Ash has flared back up again due to strong winds this morning now upgraded to an EMERGENCY WARNING with alert messages sent out.

Over the past hour or so fire activity on the northern side of the fireground has increased and it's now moving towards Rookes Road with residents told to seek shelter.

The Tomaree peninsula has been cut off with Nelson Bay Road now closed between Medowie and Richardson Roads.

It could be cut off for most of the day.

Salt Ash Public School is closed while the evacuation centre at Irrawang High School has closed.


The Campvale bushfire has just been upgraded to the emergency level.

The RFS says fire activity on the northern side has increased over the past hour and the inferno is moving towards Rookes Road at Salt Ash, fanned by strong winds.

The southern side of the fire continues to burn uncontained south of Richardson Road and north of Nelson Bay Road.

Richardson Road and Medowie Road remain shut, but Nelson Bay Road is open.


FRIDAY - 4:42am

Firefighters have gained the upper hand on the large bushfire burning at Salt Ash however they're battling strong winds.

It's currently at WATCH and ACT with easing conditions and hard work by fire crews slowing the spread of the fire which has now burnt through more than 800 hectares.

It's burning close to homes in Salt Ash however there's no direct threat.

Richardson Road and Medowie Road remain closed but Nelson Bay Road is open this morning and Newcastle Airport also is open.

Meantime the fire at Pelaw Main is down to the ADVICE level with crews working through the night in a bid to bring it under control.


The Campvale fire has been downgraded to WATCH AND ACT, while the Weston inferno has been lowered to ADVICE. 

Conditions have improved at the firegrounds, with both listed as being contained. 

Firefighters will spend the night working on containment lines and property protection. 


Optus has confirmed there's an outage in the Shoal Bay area. The telco have released a statement: 

  • Optus mobile customers across Shoal Bay and surrounds in the Hunter region may be experiencing disruptions to their mobile call, text and data services as a result of a network outage in the area.


  • Optus’ network operations team is monitoring the network to identify the source of the outage.


  • We understand there are currently bushfires in the region and these can often be the cause of network outage issues due to loss of power to towers.


  • In the instance of an emergency, customers should still dial 000 from their fixed number or 112 from your mobile phone.


  • Where there is a mobile service outage during an emergency, Optus recommends television, radio, the internet and emergency services ‘apps’ as vital sources of information in such situations.


  • Optus apologises to all customers in the area affected by this and thank them for their patience while services are being restored.



Newcastle Airport is operating once again, however there's big delays expected tonight. 



Nelson Bay Road is being reopened however there's a huge amount of traffic trying to get through. Avoid the area for now if possible. 

Lemon Tree Passage Road remains closed. 



The Weston fire has been downgraded to WATCH AND ACT. 

However firefighters are expected to work into the night to try and get the blaze under control. 

Meantime the Campvale fire has ballooned to 590 hectares in size and continues to burn out of control.  

Homes and properties in the area of Salt Ash Avenue, Hideaway Drive, Shady Avenue, Nelson Bay Road, Lemon Tree Passage Road, Janet Parade and marsh Road may be impacted by fire.

An Evacuation Centre has been established for affected residents at Irrawang High School on Mount Hall Rd, Raymond Terrace.


Newcastle Airport has confirmed there's no flights coming in or out of the airport until last light. 

The passenger terminal remains open for any arrivals. Check with your provider to see if you are affected. 



It's a busy afternoon for our firefighters with two infernos at the EMERGENCY WARNING LEVEL.

The Campvale inferno continues to burn out of control towards the Salt Ash area - fanned by strong westerly winds.

Homes around Salt Ash, Hideaway Drive and Shady Avenue may be impacted by the flames.

While emergency phone warnings have been sent to people in the area. 

Nelson Bay Road, Medowie and Richardson Roads are all closed - and there's no access to Nelson Bay by road as a result. 

The power has also been knocked out to around 700 homes around Williamtown, Bobs Farm and Salt Ash.

Ground crews in the area are being helped by water-bombing aircraft.

While there's a second major fire burning at Hospital Road, Weston which is at the Emergency Warning Level.

It's moving southeast towards Legetts Drive and has already passed Kurri Kurri Hospital. 

Emergency telephone warnings are being sent to homes and people in the Pelaw Main area - seek shelter if the fire impacts.


The R-F-S is now battling a second fire near Hospital Road, Cessnock. 

It's listed at the WATCH AND ACT level. 

The fire is burning in a south-easterly direction towards Leggetts Drive.

Firefighters and aircraft are working to slow the spread of the fire. The fire remains out of control.


The Campvale fire has just been upgraded to EMERGENCY WARNING level. 

The fire is burning in the area of Richardson Road. The fire has crossed Medowie Road and is burning towards Salt Ash. The fire is out of control.

The fire may impact on properties in the next hour.

Firefighters and aircraft are working to protect homes and slow the spread of the fire. Large Air Tankers are being used.

Emergency Alert telephone warnings are being sent to homes in the area. If you receive a warning message, take action.


The fire continues to burn towards Salt Ash thanks to strong westerly winds. 

The large air tanker is en route to help ground crews try and gain the upper hand. 



Newcastle Airport has confirmed the fire isn't affecting flights this afternoon, however passengers should check with their provider throughout the afternoon in case anything changes. 


Medowie Road is now also closed. Motorists should use Cabbage Tree Road and Masonite Road instead.


Firefighters are busy batting a bushfire in Campvale.

It's burning just north of Newcastle Airport. Richardson Road closed in both directions. Medowie Road may also be closed soon.

The RFS say while there's currently no direct threat to any homes in the area the fire has been upgraded to Watch and Act.

Water bombers have been brought in to help ground crews.



Firefighters are getting the upper hand on a grass fire burning near the New England Highway at Ravensworth.

There is no threat to homes. The fire has burnt through about 10ha.

Water bombing aircraft have been brought in to assist.


A Total Fire Ban remains in place for the Hunter.

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