IT has been a tense, sometimes terrifying, and at every turn inspiring five days.
A ribbon of yellow coats dotting the burning bushland from Lake Innes to Bonny Hills have once again proven that when humans unite for good, in the most adverse of situations, they will triumph.
More than 100 firefighters are here from across the state, on the ground and in the air.
Thank you almost doesn't seem the right word to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of ordinary people in our community who have come together to take on a fire front with force.
There's a little way to go in this challenge presented by Mother Nature and the next test will be changing weather conditions into the weekend that will see higher temperatures and stronger winds meet with fire containment lines.
As we've seen, the situation can change and change quickly.
Waterbombing and backburning will continue today (November 1) in preparation for the weekend. Crews remain in the area and are in place to provide property protection where required.
Stay up to date with the Fires Near Me App or at the website www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and listen carefully to advice for your area.
What we know now:
- The Crestwood-Lake Cathie fire is listed this morning NOvember 1 as at Advice level. There is a huge amount of smoke in the air which is going to persist.
- The fire zone is now more than 2800 hectares in size.
- Crews worked throughout the evening to manage containment lines particularly around the Long Point area.
- Houston Mitchell Drive remains closed.
- Ocean Drive between Links Crescent and Houston Mitchell Drive is now open but at reduced speed.
- Access to Bonny View Drive is for residents only.
- Motorists are advised to avoid all non-essential travel in these areas.
- Schools are open an bus routes are as normal but may be delayed due to road closures and the need to take alternative routes.
- The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a mostly sunny day. Smoky. Winds north to northeasterly 25 to 40 km/h throughout the weekend before some possible welcome rain on Monday.
- The volunteer men and women on the frontline saving homes in Lake Cathie: Tired. Weary. Determined. They are the amazing men and women who have been volunteering their time over the last couple of days to save our homes.
- 'The whole place looked like Armageddon': Lake Cathie mum of three Jacinta could see big black smoke and hear loud crackling outside. "It was terrifying," she said. "It felt like we were in a movie."
- Principal praises teachers in the face of fire emergency: Students and staff at Lake Cathie Public School were given a front row seat as the Lake Cathie bushfire emergency played out.
- Explorers Way evacuees return home to charred landscape: Lake Cathie residents are thanking their lucky stars after fire crews were able to stop a wall of fire from destroying their homes.