Properties feared lost to bushfires

Properties feared lost to bushfires

14 October 2013

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Australia — Properties have been damaged and there are fears some have been lost as an out-of-control bushfire burns in the NSW Hunter region.

The NSW Rural Fire Service says it had received unconfirmed reports of the destruction of properties in the Port Stephens area.

A scrub fire was burning in the Tilligerry State Conservation Area between Salt Ash and Tanilba Bay and in the Fingal Bay area, also in Port Stephens.

Authorities set up an evacuation centre at a community hall in Williamtown.

An emergency warning was also issued for Singleton, where residents were advised to shelter as a fire approached.

It was 32 degrees in Sydney at 5.45pm on Sunday and the temperature was rising towards the forecast top of 36 degrees.

A change sweeping through NSW was expected to drop temperatures by as much as 10 degrees when it reached Sydney by 9pm. The Bureau of Meteorology said the strong cold front would bring damaging winds of about 50km/h with peak gusts of 90km/h.

Meanwhile, a grass fire near Sydney Olympic Park was extinguished. The fire in Homebush destroyed more than 40 cars, Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Ian Krimmer said.

Three people were treated for smoke inhalation and 1500 were evacuated from a nearby aquatic centre.

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