Things got pretty hot for everyone during the bushfire in the Salt Ash today – including a baby possum that made a sprint out of the burning bush for safety.
The small marsupial was desperately trying to escape from the flames of fast-firing firefighters leaping into action and lifting it in safety near a road.
The fire of Port Stephens, which has been torn by nearly 2000 hectares of bushland, is now being controlled by several crews, who stay on site and work the night to protect 70 houses.
During the day, however, the flames reached "more than 20 meters", causing fire fighters and tankers to be buried and livestock and property threatened
Strong winds still lash the area and the danger is not over yet, the RFS has warned.
A bushfire south-west of Ballina – which was also declared an emergency today – has also been degraded as the conditions begin to diminish after nightfall.
The fire in Ellangowan – which burned 2,000 hectares – enclosed fallow lines and jumped into a creek at 4.30 pm, as a result of which the authorities issued an emergency warning.
Residents in remote homes and rural properties were told that it was too late to leave and seek accommodation, but at 6.30 pm firefighters said the threat had diminished.
"Residents must continue to monitor the situation if conditions change," the authorities said.
Minister of Emergency Services Troy Grant took his tweet last night to show his support for crews fighting the state over the state
"I can not express enough how proud (and) I am grateful of all (emergency) efforts in infernal fire conditions in NSW this week and the weekend, "he wrote.
As crews get the upper hand on one out of control fire, an emergency warning has been issued for residents of Ellangowan. https://t.co/LuwoT82UuG
– TEN Eyewitness News (@channeltennews) 19 August 2018
"Astonishing effort against changing and strong winds, aided by supportive community that adheres to warnings
" More difficult for this week ahead, hopefully a certain delay will ensure that many battles are far from over and there will be enough mop and recovery to be carried out.
"Thanks again, especially our volunteers, as usual in the real spirit of Aussie."
More than 80 fires are still burning over the state and 1200 firefighters are on stand-by.
A very high fire risk remains in place for both the northeast of NSW and the larger area of Sydney.
"Although it's a little cooler, those strong winds will continue to hold those fires," Rogers told Seven News tonight. "We look at those winds that extend around Wednesday."
Almost 20 buildings, mostly outbuildings, have been destroyed by fires since the end of last week.
On Friday, helicopter pilot Allan Tull died while burning a fire in the west of Ulladulla, on the south coast of NSW.
It is assumed that the water bowl of the Kawasaki helicopter from 1994 got stuck in trees, where the heli was pulled down. Bushfire in Port Stephens  Firefighters got the upper hand over a fierce fire in Salt Ash, near Port Stephens, around 17:00, after strong westerly winds began to die at dusk.
It is currently at wait and action level and is being monitored.
19659003] It is assumed that a caravan has been destroyed in the fire, but the crew has yet to confirm this, said RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers.
A spokesperson for the NSW Fire Department spokesman said the crew is trying to control the fire
"conditions are easing – the wind is significantly reduced," he said just before 17:00.
"The crew stays in place, there is still a lot of work to do, the circumstances could change and we could see a new escalation."
Earlier today, firefighters surrounded houses and warned residents to take shelter search, because the uncontrolled forest fires moved closer to homes near Newcastle because it was too late to leave.
NSW National Fire Department ground personnel and water bombs aircraft in Salt Ash fought the fierce fire, which had already been torn by more than 1700 hectares of bushland.
Strong westerly winds blew the flames and swaying embers as the front moved to homes near Rookes, Lemon Tree Passage and Brownes roads.
However, about sixteen, authorities said the conditions in Salt Ash began to ease, although properties were still threatened.
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A In the course of time the fire burned out of control at more than 70 houses, firefighters took positions on the ground while water bombs attacked the eruption.
"Winds are starting to slow down, but there is still a threat to properties," said an NSW RFS spokesperson just after 4:00 PM.
Earlier authorities had warned: "Embers can be blown far into the fire, creating fires and threatening property before the main fire front arrives." Follow the advice of firefighters on the ground. "
" Crews carry protection of ownership and while the fire is erratic, they will stay in place, "he said. "It is still not under control."  Around 5 o'clock the emergency warning was lifted.
Last night, the Salt Ash community merged into surrounding suburbs as people were evacuated from their homes.
Club Lemon Tree manager Jayson Towler said people were taking refuge in his Lemon Tree Passage restaurant tonight.
"We are a small city – that's what we do," he said. "If people have to sleep here, that's fine, we've got the locals to come with some pillows and blankets."
In Tanilba Bay, Tilligerry RSL manager Robyn Corbett said people had slept on the floor of the clubhouse last night.
"We're fine here – it's very smoky, very windy – last night was a bit hairy," Corbett said this afternoon.
The area had an influx of travelers who were in town for a darts tournament.
Meanwhile, another fire is burning eastward to a pine plantation at Glen Innes in the north of the state. Motorists are advised to avoid the area.
Two other uncontrollable fires remain lit in Mount Kingiman and Tabulam
These fires are part of 84 fires that are currently burning in NSW this afternoon, 32 of which have not been stored. 19659003] More than 1000 firefighters, 330 vehicles and 42 aircraft fight against the fires.
And the danger could deteriorate this afternoon, with the task prediction of Bureau of Meteorology Jordan Notara, who says wind speeds of more than 40 km / h are expected to last until the evening
Mr. Notara said the strong wind resulted from a low pressure system that moves through the Tasman Sea after the cold front of yesterday.
"The conditions are generally windy," he said.
"In the evening you would normally expect these winds to diminish."
Yesterday afternoon a fire truck was damaged during the fire in Tabulam, near Casino.
Police arrested a 14-year-old boy who was accused of deliberately causing fire and being reckless to his spread and leaving a fire lit in the open air without extinguishing it.
He received bail and will defend a children's court next month.
Saturday, his bushfire battle  Last night firemen fought a fire that got out of hand on the south coast of the state, after a long day fighting against houses with wild wind.
The forest fires raged on Salt Ash, near Port Stephens, Mount Kingiman, west of Ulladulla and Tabulum between Tenterfield and Casino today.
A strong wind change over the Hunter core late in the afternoon pushed the fire north to Tanilba Bay, Mallabula and Lemon Tree Passage, closing Oyster Cove Rd and Lemon Tree Passage Rd.
No houses were damaged in the hunter, although there is an emergency warning at the moment firefighters defend property.
The rural fire department warns people south of Oyster Cove Rd, on Rookes Rd or Lemon Tree Passage Rd, to take their bushfire plans into action immediately.
In Tabulam, 800 km northeast of Sydney, 60 firefighters from the entire district, assisted by a helicopter and three planes, fought a fast-moving grass fire.
Three barns were completely destroyed and the one wooden bridge that carries the Bruxner Hwy over the Clarence River came on fire briefly but was extinguished before structural damage was done.
"It could have been considerably worse given the conditions and speed at which the fire traveled, which was actually quite astonishing," Northern Tablends NSW RFS manger Chris Wallbridge said.
While firemen fought the eruption, residents moved into the small town between Tenterfield and Casino because there was insufficient warning to flee.
The fire of Tabulam was brought under control, though the power was cut to the city by fallen power poles.
The eruption on the South Coast was demoted from an emergency to "watch and act" in the afternoon. The winds were sufficiently illuminated for firefighters to detect and extinguish spot fires that occurred in front of the main firefront.
The winds that kept firefighters occupied, according to the task predictor Jordan Notara of Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
There is a storm-wind warning in place for coastal waters off the coast of Sydney, where the wind would increase today and early Monday, to 60 km / h.
The wind will wind up the wild surf, with southern he swells up to 4m predicted to build in accordance with wind speeds.
As far as Sydney & # 39; s concerned, it will be a cool week with drizzle on the horizon.
"In the beginning of this week Sydney will be cooler than average, with temperatures in the teen years," M. Notara said.
"From Thursday and in Friday there is potential for some showers, although they are only expected to be light."