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Volunteer fire crews will continue to desperately try and protect homes and property by strengthening containment lines ahead of an expected hot and windy weekend.
Over 60 volunteer fire fighters have been working each day on the Crestwood/Lake Cathie bush fire, which has now burnout some 2200 hectares of coastal heath.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting northeasterly 25 to 40 kilometre per hour winds from Friday, reaching 45km/h on Saturday and Sunday.
Temperatures will hover between 27 and 28 degrees over the three days.
That forecast has seen the Rural Fire Service trying to take advantage of current favourable weather conditions today (October 30), said district officer Stuart Robb.
"We are expecting continual northeasterly influences for the next 24 hours that will continue to push this fire to the south," Mr Robb said.
"Weather forecasts show an increase in maximum temperatures and winds toward the weekend.
"Fire crews are trying to take advantage of the current favourable weather to strengthen containment lines around and ahead of the fire.
"Overnight on Tuesday we used Houston Mitchell Drive as a containment line and crews were able to put in back burns as the fire approached," he said.
"Our strategy is to then back burn off these containment lines and get as much depth as we can."
Crestwood-Lake Cathie fire latest:
How is this fire burning?
The Crestwood-Lake Cathie fire is burning in coastal heath which also has plenty of ground fuel.
Combined with the extremely dry conditions, coastal heath burns quite hot and fierce. But when coupled with strong winds, spot fires become a real issue for crews on the fire ground.
"That is the issue. When we have high temperatures and strong winds, wind-driven spot fires are a real risk," Mr Robb said.
"With so much fuel on the ground, a coastal heath fire burns very hot, producing very significant amounts of smoke.
"Coupled with this you get embers rising into that thermal stream and being pushed out ahead of the fire.
"Some of these embers can end up two to three kilometres ahead of a fire front.
"The strength of the wind dictates the rate of spread and that is highlighted under the current conditions because everything is so dry."
The coastal heath vegetation can include species with plenty of oils and these also tend to burn quite dark and produce thick smoke.
While crews on the ground are predominately from the local government area, the RFS expects a strike team from the Lower Hunter to support volunteers on the fire ground.
Mr Robb reminded residents of the importance of constantly updating their bushfire plan.
"Everyone should have a fire plan and that should be discussed with the family on a regular basis," he said.
"We also suggest to people with health issues to action their plan as early as possible and to relocate to an area not impacted by the fire."
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