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Archive for March, 2019

Hunter bushfires 2017, Port Stephens and Cessnock day fourlive blog

Hunter bushfires day four | live blog Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Andrew Macdonald
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Racecourse Road Fire – Photo by Andrew Macdonald

Racecourse Road Fire – Photo by Andrew Macdonald

Racecourse Road Fire – Photo by Andrew Macdonald

Racecourse Road Fire – Photo by Andrew Macdonald

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Shaun Cox

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Andrew Macdonald

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Andrew Macdonald

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

INSTA @brodietaliacook Front yard ❗️

Fire crews battling the Lone Pine fire on Monday. Picture: NSW RFS Lower Hunter

Fire crews battling the Lone Pine fire on Monday. Picture: NSW RFS Lower Hunter

Fire crews battling the Lone Pine fire on Monday. Picture: NSW RFS Lower Hunter

Fire crews battling the Lone Pine fire on Monday. Picture: NSW RFS Lower Hunter

Fire crews battling the Lone Pine fire on Monday. Picture: NSW RFS Lower Hunter

INSTA @gioo_lalla Tatütata

Fire crews battling the Lone Pine fire on Monday. Picture: NSW RFS Lower Hunter

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Firefighters battle the Lone Pine blaze from Medowie Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Lone Pine fire. Picture: Michael John Fisher

MONDAY: Medowe Road, southern edge of the blaze. Picture: Michael McGowan

Firefighters burning a containment line between the southern flank of the fire and Medowie Road on Monday. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Medowe Road, southern edge of the blaze. Picture: Michael McGowan

MONDAY: Medowe Road, southern edge of the blaze. Picture: Michael McGowan

MONDAY: Medowe Road, southern edge of the blaze. Picture: Michael McGowan

MONDAY: Fort Zara’s property at Pipeclay Creek Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

MONDAY: Fort Zara’s property at Pipeclay Creek Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

INSTA @boneybrooke Bushfire season is upon us. Be careful out there pls

INSTA @leekime65 Flying over house from swan bay area fire !

SUNDAY: The end of Riverside Drive, Karuah. Picture: Brooke Greentree-kent

MONDAY: Fort Zara on his property at Pipeclay Creek Road. Picture: Brodie Owen

INSTA @matt_p98 Our friends in the sky at the Karuah fire #firefighting #rfs #rfsinsta

SUNDAY: Twelve Mile Creek fish and yabbie farmer Glenn Jones took this photo of the sunset over his property on Sunday after the fire threat had eased.

Smoke over Medowie on Monday. Picture: Jessica Brown

Grahamstown Dam glows from the fires at Lone Pine and Karuah. Picture: Nisha Sagar

SUNDAY: Twelve Mile Creek fish and yabbie farmer Glenn Jones took this photo of the sunset over his property on Sunday after the fire threat had eased.

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Tim Burcham

Looking west towards the Pacific Highway from Karuah. Photo: Marina Neil

Looking west towards the Pacific Highway from Karuah. Photo: Marina Neil

Racecourse Road Cessnock fire. Photo: Perry Duffin

Nine Mile Creek. Photo: Ian Kirkwood

Old Swan Bay Road fire kept to inland side of the road . Photo: Ian Kirkwood

Crew from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, on Old Swan Bay Road. Photo: Ian Kirkwood

Seaham Road turnoff. Photo: Ian Kirkwood

Spot fires at Nine Mile Creek. Photo: Ian Kirkwood

Photo: Tim Mitchell

Photo taken at Kearsley by Twitter’s @thoughtseeding.

Fire at Heddon Greta, taken by Natalee Snaddon.

Picture: Aharon Staff

Photo by @jo_dilla on Instagram.

From @McAllisterJai on Twitter.

From @rabsr1 on Twitter.

From Herald reader Darren Oliver.

From Herald photographer Max Mason-Hubers

From @geofflucas on Instagram.

The fire burning at the southern end of Vincent Street, near Cessnock Sportsground, earlier this afternoon. Picture: Aharon Staff

Picture: Aharon Staff

Picture: Aharon Staff

Picture: Aharon Staff

Photo: Tim Mitchell

Photo: Tim Mitchell

Fire at Heddon Greta, taken by Natalee Snaddon.

Fire at Heddon Greta, taken by Natalee Snaddon.

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Tim Burcham

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Tim Burcham

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Tim Burcham

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Tim Burcham

Karuah fire, taken from Tanilba Bay, Sunday afternoon. Picture: Ben Adams

Karuah fire, taken from Tanilba Bay, Sunday afternoon. Picture: Ben Adams

Cessnock fire. Photos: Felicity Robbs

Cessnock fire. Photos: Felicity Robbs

Cessnock fire. Photos: Felicity Robbs

Cessnock fire. Photos: Felicity Robbs

Masonic Village in Cessnock. Picture: Phillip Bigelow

Masonic Village in Cessnock. Picture: Phillip Bigelow

Masonic Village in Cessnock. Picture: Phillip Bigelow

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Cessnock fire on Saturday. Picture: Michael John Fisher

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Andrew Murray, Cessnock.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Andrew Murray, Cessnock.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Andrew Murray, Cessnock.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Andrew Murray, Cessnock.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Rachelle Corcoran.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Rachelle Corcoran.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Rachelle Corcoran.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Rachelle Corcoran.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Rachelle Corcoran.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Rachelle Corcoran.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Rachelle Corcoran.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Rachelle Corcoran.

Cessnock bushfire. Picture: Rachelle Corcoran.

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Saturday bushfires. Picture: Daniel Johnson‎

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Shoal Bay by Alisha-Jade Morphett

Karuah by Danielle Cunningham

INSTA @teek14 I hope this isn’t a preview for summer #mercyoftheweather

INSTA @paulm51 A new morning and the smoke hangs heavy. The fires have moved away from us now, thank goodness. 😃 #bushfire #fire🔥🔥🔥 #fire #smoke #photography#photographer #photos #photo

INSTA @ocean__smiles Morning after bush fire. I have so much respect for all the fire fighters. Thank you for keeping us safe.

Saturday bushfire. Picture: Medowie Rural Fire Brigade

SUNDAY: Smoke seen from Mustons Road, Karuah. Picture: Brooke Greentree-kent

SUNDAY: Smoke seen from Mustons Road, Karuah. Picture: Brooke Greentree-kent

SUNDAY: Smoke seen from Mustons Road, Karuah. Picture: Brooke Greentree-kent

SATURDAY: Heading towards Karuah near the weigh station. Picture: Brooke Greentree-kent

INSTA @basti0306 Roadtrips heating up #forestfire #fire #roadtrip #australia #holiday #smokey

INSTA @chrissy_oconnell Driving towards the bushfires #bushfireseason #bushfire

INSTA @thibaut_christ Otis in the beast brrrp brrrrrping through bush fire

FACEBOOK: On Saturday afternoon the #Rescuehelicopter attended a dirt bike accident on a property north of Tea Gardens. The helicopter took a route over Anna Bay to avoid a large #bushfire near Raymond Terrace, not to mention the other aircraft in the area including a #DC10WaterBomber and 4 other helicopters. A man with leg injuries was flown to John Hunter Hospital. Picture: Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service – Official Site

Lone Pine blaze. Picture: Hunter Weather

Lone Pine blaze. Picture: Hunter Weather

WEEKEND FIRE: Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

WEEKEND FIRE: Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

WEEKEND FIRE: Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

WEEKEND FIRE: Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

WEEKEND FIRE: Cessnock blaze. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

Lone Pine fire backburning on Monday night. Picture: Selwyn Cox

INSTA @xsnipingrinox This is What I can see from my roof they’re back burning but that doesn’t mean where sad from the fire 🔥 (RED FLOWER!)

INSTA @nosam_syd Feeling the heat with the #rfs. #fire #mondaymotivation #lonepinefire

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Shaun Cox

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Shaun Cox

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Shaun Cox

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Shaun Cox

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Shaun Cox

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Shaun Cox

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Shaun Cox

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Andrew Macdonald

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Andrew Macdonald

Lone Pine Fire – Photo by Andrew Macdonald

Racecourse Road Fire – Photo by Andrew Macdonald

TweetFacebookPlease refresh this page for the latest updatesAS IT HAPPENED: Hunter bushfires day threeAS IT HAPPENED:Hunter bushfires day twoAS IT HAPPENED: Hunter bushfires day oneSheds go up on edge of KaruahThird blaze catches crews off guardHard fight spares villageLone Pine fire closes highwayHunter fires: Medowie blaze helped by weatherSTAY UPDATED:Regularly checktheFires Near MewebsiteIf your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediatelyStay up to date with the bush fire situation by checkinghttp://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737Check www.livetraffic苏州夜总会招聘for road closure updates7.30PM

That’s about it for our blog tonight.

Herald reporter Brodie Owenhas more here:

Telling of the rugged conditionsinside Medowie State Forest, one firefighter had to be carted out by an ambulance on Tuesday morning after he dislocated his knee.

The ambulance was escorted by a fire truck via remote tracks to deep into the bush to remove the injured firefighter.

It is among the best examples of the sacrifices made by RFS crews in this blaze, triggering an outpouring of goodwill in Medowie.

The town’s RFS station was overcome by food donations on Tuesday, including dozens of “Food Survival Packs” made by Medowie Christian School students. Each pack came with a personal message.

“Thank you for saving our community,” wrote one student. “You do so much for us,” said another.

RFS Medowie deputy captain Ian Harding said the generosityshowed community spirit was alive and well.

“It makes you proud,” Mr Harding said.

6.40PM

The rains are here.

Parts of the Hunter, particularly Merriwa, have begun to receive rains expected to ease the heavy workload of firefighters over the past few days.

Both Scone and Merriwa received some falls before 7pm, with the Upper Hunter receiving a storm warning earlier in the day.

While the cooler temperatures and rainfall may help quench the fires, it will also make it harder for firefighters to use tactics including backburning.

4.50PM

Rural Fire Service spokesman Ben Shepherd said prayers for rain at fire grounds around the region were likely to be answered on Tuesday evening and into Wednesday.

“That will have two effects,” Mr Shepherd said.

“Yes it will quieten these fires down…but it may also limit our opportunities to do some backburning.”

Mr Shepherd said crews were doing what burning they could ahead of the rain, which would likely give some crews a chance for a well-earned break.

But the job is far from done, with burnt trees and other hazards including the fire re-igniting foremost in the minds of all firefighters.

“There will be crews patrolling these fire grounds for days,” he said.

Wednesday’s fire danger is expected to be Low-Moderate across the Hunter, with no total fire ban in place.

4.40PM

The fire at Racecourse Road that devoured 1040 hectares has been contained.

Crews are mopping up the fire and patrolling to extinguish any spot fires.

4.35PM

Rural Fire Service has issued an update on the Lone Pine fire, warning residents in several Port Stephens towns to stay alert for ember attack.

The fire has scorched 9034 hectares and is not under control.

It has crossed the Karuah River and is burning on its northern side. Firefighters are building containment lines on its southern and eastern perimeters.

Karuah, Limeburners Creek, Medowie, Nine Mile Creek and Swan Bay residents are urged to keep monitoring the situation.

There is no immediate threat to Karuah, North Arm Cove or Carrington. Medowie Road is also open in both directions.

The Bucketts Way, which has also re-opened, may close temporarily due to urgent repairs.

4.05PM: A fresh shift is taking the reins in the Incident Management team, where the day shift is handing over to the night shift.

The RFS is also now listing a bush fire at Charles St in Abermain as out of control.

There are no alerts, warning or advice relating to that fire.​

4PM

Paterson MP Meryl Swanson paid tribute to firefighters in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

“I know there are many people in our community who are incredibly grateful for this concentrated, coordinated work by fire crews, and I add my voice to theirs,” she said.

“At frightening times it is reassuring to hear the fire engines, to see in our skies the water bombers and helicopters andaircraft dumping fire retardant, and to have on the ground men and women who go into battle atthe fire front to keep us all safe.”

3.55PM

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for several parts of the state, including western sections of the Upper Hunter.

These maps are never an exact guide to where storms will and won’t strike, but the indicated area seems clear of the region’s fire grounds.

#NSWStorm warning updated. #DamagingWinds#LargeHail#HeavyRain Locations include #Mudgee#Armidale#Cobar Monitor: https://t苏州夜场招聘/Ss766eSCrLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/aR5oVWLUUi

— BOM New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) November 8, 2016We’re starting to see lightning activity across different parts of NSW. Let’s hope we don’t get any additional fires as a result @NSWRFSpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/mXLTsj8ibh

— Shane Fitzsimmons (@RFSCommissioner) November 8, 2016RYHOPE: All lanes now open on the M1 Pacific Mwy after a grass fire. Traffic is returning to normal.

— Live Traffic NSW (@LiveTrafficNSW) November 8, 2016How to put out a spot fire with Rebecca Lea and Mal Desmarchelier @newcastleheraldpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/nDBZOfMVEV

— Brodie Owen (@Brodie_Owen) November 8, 2016Advice

Homes can offer safetyConditions may be changing. Take advice of firefighters on the groundEnact your bush fire survival plan, if you do not have a plan know what it is you will do if the fire threatens1.50pm –fire breaks out at Freemans Waterhole

Firefighters are on scene at a bushfire on the M1 at Freemans Waterhole. The fire is being controlled.

#NSWRFS crews are on scene at a #bushfire on the M1 at Freemans Waterhole. Sth bound lanes are currently closed. pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/YBQUOzoAGa

— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 8, 2016Advice

Residents of Abernethy, Kitchener and Kearsley should monitor conditionsTake advice of firefighters on the ground12.45pm –Lone Pine fire update

The fire has burnt 9035 hectares.

Ithas burnt a large area of bushland north and south of the Pacific Highway.

Firefighters have used easing conditions overnight to their advantage establishing containment lines on the southern and eastern perimeters of the fire.

Favourable conditions this morning are allowing firefighters to continue back burning operations near Medowie this afternoon.

Today will see the potential for an increase in fire activity on the western side of Karuah and to the west of Swan Bay Road with residents urged to follow instructions from firefighters in the area.

Crews will continue to backburn towards the Pipeclay crossing and beyond in an effort to link up with the heavy retardant dropped from the very large air tanker yesterday.

Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-thirties today which will bring low humidity and north westerly winds.

People in the area of Karuah, Limeburners Creek, Medowie, Nine Mile Creek and Swan Bay and should continue to monitor the situation and be alert to burning embers.

There is no immediate threat to the townships of Karuah, North Arm Cove and Carrington.

Medowie Road isopen in both directions between the Pacific Highway and Federation Drive.

The Bucketts Way is alsoopen in both directions, however the road may be closed temporarily throughout the day for urgent repairs.

The Pacific Highway is open, however motorists are advised to use caution when driving through the area as firefighters may be working near the road.

Advice

Homes can offer safetyConditions may be changing. Take advice of firefighters on the groundEnact your bush fire survival plan, if you do not have a plan know what it is you will do if the fire threatens12.35pm

This is the size of the Racecourse Road bushfire as of Tuesday, November 7. Picture courtesy NSW RFS Lower Hunter.

12.15pm –update from reporter Brodie Owen

Paramedics are attempting to retrieve an injured Rural Fire Service crew member deep inside the Medowie State Forest.

The firefighter dislocated his knee earlier this morning.

TUESDAY: Control centre on the Pacific Highway near Medowie. Picture: Brodie Owen

The RFS escorted the ambulance into remote bushland via a series of tracks a short time ago. The RFS said it was a blessing there was an off-duty paramedic attached to the injured man’s crew.

Meanwhile, bushland north of Medowie is virtually unrecognisable thanks to persistent firefighting efforts overnight.

The southerly wind change expected about 2pm will tell if containment lines hold. The temperature is rising.

12.05pm –updates on current fires in the Hunter

Heaton Road Onley –Advice, under control

Fairley Road, Holmesville –Advice, under control

Racecourse Road, Cessnock –Advice, under control

Lone Pine fire –Advice, being controlled

Lone Pine Fire – firefighters continue working to control the fire that is still burning. https://t苏州夜场招聘/xdTfyV6bPA#NSWRFSPhoto: Adrian Lee pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/qyt7UMfc4w

— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 8, 2016Virtually unrecognisable here at Medowie. Fireys have done a good job o’night. Wind change this arvo will tell if containment lines hold.

— Brodie Owen (@Brodie_Owen) November 8, [email protected]_NSW forecasting some relief for fire affected areas of NSW. Good news for fire fighters and community @[email protected]@OEHmedia#FCNSWpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/Jjf2AaJRhu

— Shane Fitzsimmons (@RFSCommissioner) November 7, 2016Very high fire danger today (Tue) in 5 areas: Far Nth Coast, Nth Coast, New England, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney. #NSWRFSpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/i0IIIM1XLa

— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 7, 2016Advice

Residents of Abernethy, Kitchener and Kearsley should monitor conditionsTake advice of firefighters on the ground7.10am –RFS update on Lone Pine fire

NSW RFS spokesperson John Redman said a southerly change was expected, which was good news, but its arrival could bring less than ideal conditions.

“When it arrives, there could be winds up to 60km per hour and that’s what is expected today,” Mr Redman said.

Firefighters worked overnight to establish containment lines, after being met with weather challenges which put pressure on the containment lines and started spot fires.

“Great work was done overnight,” Mr Redman said.

“The weather today poses a challenge with low humidity, gusty winds and high temperatures.

“Everyone is working to get through to this afternoon, when the change is expected to arrive.”

However, Mr Redman said there was still a lot of fire on the ground and the expected rain wouldn’t put the fire out, but would ease conditions.

The Lone Pine fire has burnt about 8600 hectares and has a perimeter of 144kms.

Today, firefighters will continue to establish containment lines and especially work on the southern edge of the fire, which is not yet contained.

There will be smoke around the southern edge of the fire as a result of the backburning crews completed last night.

“The fire is at advice level, which is a great testament to the work that has been done,” Mr Redman said.

Backburning will continue today.

6.55am –weather update

There is low humidity expected in Medowie today. The wind is expected to ease, but temperatures are set to soar up to 34 degrees.

However, rain is expected in the afternoon, with a 20 percent chance of showers at 2pm, increasing into the evening.

This much-needed rain will hopefully offer relief for fire fighters.

6.45am – Journalist Brodie Owen filed this report on what’s expected today

VICTORY over theHunter blaze is still a long way off, with challenging weather conditions on Tuesday expected to again have firefighters under the pump.

Firefighting efforts will be concentrated north of Medowie and west of Swan Bay, where the southern edge of the fire continues to rage.

While wind conditions are expected to be moderate in the morning, an afternoon change of direction, combined with forecast temperatures in the low to mid-30s, could prove challenging.

The Rural Fire Service’s Inspector Ben Shepherd said firefighters were hunkering down for a tough day, even though the fire was downgraded late Monday night thanks to favourable conditions.

“There’s still a lot of work to do,” Inspector Shepherd told theNewcastleHerald.

“They’ve stillgot to lock in that southern edge of the fire, and once that is done they’ll start to look at the northern parts of the fire because it’s still burning uncontrolled in some remote parts.”

Hundreds of firefighters will be kept at the fire front on Tuesday, with the majority situated near the towns of Medowie and Swan Bay.

The southerly wind change is expected to arrive about 2pm. Its effect on the fire is unpredictable.

Water-bombing helicopter refuels in a caravan park on the Pacific Highway near the Medowie State Forest @newcastleheraldpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/aRssiweDVo

— Brodie Owen (@Brodie_Owen) November 7, 2016MEDOWIE: MedowieRd & BukkettsWay (Twelve Mile Creek) have both reopened following closures due to bush fires.

— Live Traffic NSW (@LiveTrafficNSW) November 7, 2016Advice

Homes can offer safetyConditions may be changing. Take advice of firefighters on the groundEnact your bush fire survival plan, if you do not have a plan know what it is you will do if the fire threatens8.40pm –Lone Pine Fire at Advice level

The Lone Pine Fire has been downgraded from Watch and Act to Advice level.

Finally a sea of blue. Lots of work still to do however all fires in #NSW now at Advice. 48 fires still burning 22 uncontained. #NSWRFRSpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/591wOXldcm

— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 7, 2016Advice – Lone Pine Fire. Firefighters to use easing conditions overnight to their advantage https://t苏州夜场招聘/kERYRPTTSH#NSWRFS

— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 7, 2016Finally a sea of blue. Lots of work still to do however all fires in #NSW now at Advice. 48 fires still burning 22 uncontained. #NSWRFRSpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/591wOXldcm

— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 7, 2016Advice

Homes can offer safetyConditions may be changing. Take advice of firefighters on the groundEnact your bush fire survival plan, if you do not have a plan know what it is you will do if the fire threatens

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Ella brothers stand by Jim Williams, said they knew of Learn Earn Legend funding ‘situation’

Glen Ella’s Ellavation is standing by Jim Williams. Photo: David Rogers Loan recipient: Jim Williams. Photo: James Brickwood
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An Indigenous education foundation run by renowned n rugby brothers Glen, Mark and Gary Ella is standing by former Wallaby Jim Williams in the wake of revelations he was the recipient of a secret loan from the NSW Rugby Union last year.

Ellavation chairman Bruce Hayman has also revealed he and chief executive Glen Ella were told by a Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet official about a “financial situation” that had occurred in the Learn Earn Legend program when the foundation was in discussions to take over the running of the federal government-funded initiative in March this year.

The Learn Earn Legend program, along with $100,000 in government funds, were transferred from the NSWRU to Ellavation shortly after NSW officials discovered former chairman Nick Farr-Jones and executive director Bruce Worboys had authorised a $56,000 loan to program co-ordinator Jim Williams so he could make a mortgage repayment on his family home in Sydney’s south.

The loan was made in August last year and was never re-paid by Williams. Farr-Jones, who gave a verbal guarantee of the loan, repaid it on Williams’ behalf more than six months later, with the help of an unnamed individual. Worboys resigned over the matter and Williams’ contract was not renewed.

Williams, a former Wallaby and assistant Wallabies coach, has since been employed by Ellavation to run the same program.

Hayman, who spoke on behalf of the foundation and chief executive Glen Ella, said the foundation was comfortable with its decision after being told up front by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet program manager Steven Clarke in March about a financial anomaly.

“We were approached to consider taking on the Learn Earn Legend program and we discussed with Prime Minister and Cabinet where it was at,” Hayman said. “They alerted us to the fact that there had been some financial situation in the past, all of which was behind the program, and that everything had been resolved.

“We said we’d look closely at it, we talked with Jim about it and, without going into all the details of the past, we have taken Jim on as a contractor, and most importantly Glen as CEO is working very closely with Jim, with a very clear job description and clear key performance indicators.

“Whatever happened in the past, we have very tight financial controls in place and we’re confident that the job Jim is doing with us in the program, fits closely with our objectives and with those of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.”

Hayman’s comments raise questions about when the matter was raised with the federal government, which handed over almost $630,000 to the NSWRU to run the program over the past four years.

Under terms and conditions for indigenous grants, the Federal Government stipulates that program providers must use grants “for the project for which it is provided, unless the Commonwealth agrees in writing to an alternative use”.

The department declined to comment further on the matter when contacted on Monday. In a statement provided to Fairfax Media last week, it said it was aware of “alleged issues relating to funding provided to the NSWRU”. The NSWRU has denied any link between the loan and the Learn Earn Legend program despite Farr-Jones’ account of the transaction, which was kept hidden from the NSWRU board and administration for more than six months.

“I didn’t have the cash at the time … Bruce said to me ‘Nick, there is this amount sitting in the LEL program, which is surplus, we could use that’,” Farr-Jones told Fairfax Media.

“Bruce was confident he could … organise the loan to be refinanced and the debt to be repaid. Plus, Jim gave him assurances. Effectively I was comfortable with that and I was comfortable on the basis that I would guarantee the loan.”

A NSWRU official confirmed it was NSWRU policy that payments of between $50,000 and $100,000 required the approval of at least two directors.

“At the time the [executive director] of NSW [Rugby Union] was classed as a director on the NSWRU board. Due to the recent changes and improvements in governance this is now not the case as the CEO is not a director and we no longer have the position [executive director] of NSW Rugby,” the official said.

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$1.3 million weekly windfall from Sydney Airport station fees for NSW government

Patronage has surged by almost 22 per cent on the Airport Line over the past year. Photo: Steven Siewert A one-way trip to the airport from the CBD costs almost $17 when using an Opal card. Photo: Steven Siewert
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The amount of money funnelled into NSW government coffers from fees charged to train passengers passing through station gates at Sydney Airport has surged by 27 per cent over the past year to almost $69 million.

And in further evidence of the staggering growth on the rail line to ‘s busiest airport, the latest accounts for the private operator reveal total patronage across its four stations – including Green Square and Mascot – surged by almost 22 per cent to 18 million people in the year to June.

The growth resulted in Airport Link Company paying the government $68.6 million in a “train service fee” this year, up from $54 million in 2014-15, and $27.2 million in 2013-14.

The increase in travellers using Sydney Airport, combined with road congestion encouraging more people to catch trains, mean the government is set to reap further windfalls in the coming years from the station access fees paid by passengers.

A one-way trip to or from the airport from the CBD costs an adult passenger $16.78 when using an Opal card during peak hours, making it the most expensive stretch of rail track for passengers on Sydney’s rail network.

The ticket price comprises a $3.38 train fare and a station access fee of $13.40 for the airport terminals (or $12 for concession-card holders such as pensioners or children).

The journey for those using a single-trip ticket costs $17.40 – or $34.80 return.

Contrary to perceptions that the operator of the stations pockets all the money, the state government is now the major beneficiary of the fees passengers pay when using the Airport Line.

Since a so-called threshold was reached in July 2014, the government has been entitled to 85 per cent of the sales revenue from Airport Link under a revised contract.

Transport for NSW said removing or reducing the access fee would cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars and require negotiations with the Airport Link Company.

“Every dollar received is ploughed straight back into improving services or delivering better infrastructure for customers,” it said.

The transport authority also said the station usage fee was capped at $25 a week for Opal cardholders who travelled to the airport more than once a week.

“The NSW government has also ensured that under the contract with [Airport Link Company], the weekly Opal cap for the station usage fee cannot cost more than double the single station usage fee, which was previously not the case,” it said.

“This is now extra protection for customers which previously did not exist.”

A spokeswoman for Sydney Airport said it had long advocated reducing the station access fee to encourage more people – including airport workers, passengers and visitors – to take the train to and from the airport.

In its latest accounts, the Airport Link Company said its own expectations of income growth was based on modelling beyond 2020, and the airport’s master plan “which envisaged total passenger growth levels exceeding 71 million passengers by 2033”.

With roads to the airport congested at peak hours, the government has also been urging people to catch the train instead of driving.

The option for passengers to take a bus is limited because the 400 service between Bondi Junction and Burwood remains the only one that stops at the domestic and international terminals.

The use of the Airport Line will be further fuelled in the coming years from people moving into the large apartment towers under construction around stations at Green Square and Mascot.

Unlike the airport, the access fees at those two stations in Sydney’s south have been subsidised since a decision in 2011 by the then Keneally government.

Patronage on the line to the airport has been among the fastest growing on Sydney’s train network.

The possibility of one day separating the Airport Line from the suburban network, and running a metro-style shuttle, emerged in an options paper released in September by the state and federal governments.

The paper found that running metro trains between Central Station and Revesby via Sydney Airport could allow an extra 12 trains an hour from the outer south-west to operate on the congested City Circle Line.

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Donald Trump attacks Beyonce as poll shows Hillary Clinton ahead on election eve

1. US votes
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It’s the final countdown! Finally. Later this morning I’ll be manning our live blog, so do make sure you join me as this utterly fascinating campaign draws to a close. [Live blog]

A new national poll has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 50-44. [The Hill]

Trump held a rally in Florida. “This is it,” he told supporters, saying this was his one chance – that in four years’ time his movement would be defeated by immigrants and the Supreme Court. [Watch]

NBC is reporting a President Trump would appoint Newt Gingrich Secretary of State and Rudy Giuliani Attorney-General. [Katy Tur, Benjy Sarlin]

While Trump was pledging to repeal Obamacare, the architect of that policy was busy mocking reports that Trump’s advisors have banned him from tweeting. [The New York Times]

(Certainly Trump’s Twitter feed has taken a more restrained tone, sending out bland “Thank you” tweets to states where he’s campaigned – the boring sort of tweets staffers usually send out.)

Fantastic line from Obama: “Now, if somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear code.” [The Hill]

The celebrity endorsements continue to roll out for Clinton, who will be backed by Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi in Philadelphia.

Beyonce and Jay Z perform at a concert for Hillary Clinton in Cleveland. Photo: Getty

On the weekend, Beyonce and Jay-Z became the biggest stars to lend their names to Clinton’s campaign. Trump took aim at R&B’s royal couple, claiming the endorsements for Clinton are a “form of cheating.” [The Independent]

On the choice for America: “One would seek the rational management of US decline, while the other would break the furniture just because he feels like it,” writes The Sydney Morning Herald’s international editor Peter Hartcher. [Fairfax] 2. n politics

Today Labor will unveil its position on the government’s changes to superannuation and the tax treatment of foreign workers (the so-called backpacker tax.) The Opposition will push for more cuts to superannuation concessions and a lower tax rate. [Philip Coorey/Financial Review]

Senator Murray Watt and Senator Penny Wong after the vote on the Plebiscite (Same-sex Marriage) Bill 2016 in the Senate on Monday night. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

On Monday night the Senate killed off the government’s plebiscite bills. Liberal Senator Dean Smith abstained from voting while the Attorney-General George Brandis warned marriage equality would be delayed for years by Labor’s decision to oppose a public vote in favour of a parliamentary vote which, for now, is unlikely to become a reality in this term. [Michael Koziol/Fairfax]

Labor Leader Bill Shorten would like to be the one to deliver gay marriage, writes Michelle Grattan. [The Conversation]

Another bad Newspoll for Malcolm Turnbull. Labor is leading 53-47 two-party preferred. [Philip Hudson/The n]

Here it is my duty to remind you that Turnbull cited 30 bad Newspolls as a reason for knocking off Tony Abbott…

The moderate Liberal MP Russell Broadbent is questioning the prevailing view in the Coalition that allowing far-right MPs to speak out on issues like Islam is a counter to One Nation’s resurgence. [Michael Gordon/Fairfax] 3. 18C

After writing about this issue for years, the Coalition is finally on the brink of moving on free speech, specifically amending section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act which makes it an offence to “insult” or “offend” a person on the basis of their race. Turnbull is expected to outline a government inquiry to the partyroom today. [David Crowe/The n] [Michelle Grattan/The Conversation]

Significantly, the indigenous Liberal MP Ken Wyatt has backed change. [David Lipson/Lateline]

n Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs Photo: Andrew Meares

Human Rights Commission (HRC) President Gillian Triggs has defended the HRC’s handling of the QUT 18C case, saying the organisation was simply following the law. Professor Triggs says the organisation wants a higher threshold for 18C cases. [Michael Gordon/Fairfax] 4. The Battle for Mosul

Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga have stormed a town north-east of Mosul, held by Islamic State. [Reuters] 5. Unrest in Indonesia

Protesters clash with police in central Jakarta. Photo: Roni Bintang

An excellent piece from our correspondent in Indonesia, Jewel Topsfield, about the political machinations behind protests that are demanding the governorm widely known as Ahok, be jailed for insulting Islam, and what this all means for President Joko Widodo. [Fairfax] 6. Brexit

The Minister overseeing Brexit, David Davis, says there must be no attempt to use the High Court ruling that Parliament must have a say on invoking Article 50 to stay inside the European Union. Importantly, Labour has said it will not try to frustrate the Brexit process.  [BBC]

And that’s it from me today – you can follow me on Facebook for more.

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Liberal MP Russell Broadbent calls out George Christensen for anti-Islam remarks

Russell Broadbent addresses Federal Parliament on Monday night. A speech by Queensland LNP MP George Christensen in September prompted Mr Broadbent’s comments on Monday night. Photo: Andrew Meares
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“The politics of fear and division have never created one job,” Mr Broadbent said on Monday night. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Veteran Liberal Russell Broadbent confessed to failing to repudiate his colleagues who promote fear and division on Monday evening.

 Politicians don’t usually admit to mistakes when they address the national parliament, but veteran Liberal Russell Broadbent confessed to a big one on Monday evening: failing to repudiate his colleagues who promote fear and division.

Mr Broadbent expressed his regret for not immediately rejecting a “diatribe about the rise of Islam in this country” by fellow Coalition MP George Christensen back in September.

That same week, Pauline Hanson had delivered a similar speech in the Senate, warning that was in danger of being swamped by Muslims who did not share n values.

Mr Broadbent, who holds the west Gippsland seat of McMillan, spoke immediately after Mr Christensen in an adjournment debate that week, but ignored his remarks, believing that “saying what I thought” would only result in them receiving more attention. That, he now says, was a big error.

“It was a long and lonely walk before the penny dropped as to why I had not called out the member for (Queensland seat of ) Dawson on the spot,” Broadbent explained in a speech to Parliament on Monday night.

“The issues swirling in our multicultural nation are for me public and passionate, but for me they are not personal. The truth is I didn’t act as I should have because I am not Muslim, Chinese, Afghan or Greek looking. Not Italian, Sri Lankan or Sudanese. Not Aboriginal.”

Having realised his mistake, Mr Broadbent told the nation what he really thought in Monday’s address, appealing to all MPs to reflect on their relationship with the n people because “right now it’s broken”.

“It’s time for us to rise above the politics of fear and division because our love of diversity, difference and freedom will endure,” he said.

Mr Broadbent made no reference to the two divisive debates of this week – one about the proposed life-time visa ban on refugees processed offshore; the other the push for changes to laws outlawing racial hate speech.

But he did challenge those on his side of politics who were “cuddling up to Hansonite rhetoric” to think again, saying: “Those propositions and policies will only hurt the Coalition parties in the long run in the same way as the once great Labor Party now is captive to the Greens.”

Part of the answer, he said, was to have empathy and consideration for those doing it tough and “speak to the people in their language about basic concerns affecting their daily lives”.

“The politics of fear and division have never created one job. Never come up with one invention. Never started a new business. And never given a child a new start in life, or lifted the spirits of a nation.”

And part of it was to show leadership, and convince those who were targeted by Christensen and Hanson that they haven’t been left out.

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