FIREFIGHTERS have gained the upper hand after conditions eased at Belmont overnight and into Friday morning.
But crews have urged residents in the area to remain vigilant. Property owners in Goulding Avenue, Railway Crescent, Kalaroo Road, John Darling Avenue, John Fisher Road and Siloam Drive should monitor the situation closely, the NSW Rural Fire Service advises.
Firefighters were undertaking backburning behind homes on Goulding Avenue and Railway Crescent in the early hours of Friday to contain the fire, and had planned to continue east towards Fernleigh Track.
"Today crews will continue to work on containing the fire, using the favourable conditions to undertake direct attack and backburning where required," the RFS said at 8.20am on Friday.
The fire had scorched 79 hectares by 5.30am.
Emergency crews have worked into the night battling an out-of-control fire near homes at Belmont.
The bushfire broke out in windy conditions at the end of Merleview Street, with Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW crews responding on Thursday evening.
The fire was upgraded to Emergency Warning Status - the highest level on the bushfire alert system - just after 7pm.
The warning urged people to take action immediately.
"A bushfire is burning under strong southerly winds in a northerly direction towards Goulding St, Railway Cr, Kalaroo Rd," an RFS alert said on social media.
"Residents in the area are advised to seek shelter as the firefront arrives."
In an update posted at 7.17pm on Thursday, RFS said fires were "uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast-moving" in conditions such of those being experienced at Lake Macquarie.
"Residents in the area of Goulding Street, Railway Crescent, Kalaroo Road are advised to seek shelter in a solid structure as the fire approaches," RFS said.
"Protect yourself from the heat of the fire. If you are caught in the path of the fire, you may die or be injured.
"Embers will be blown up to 4km ahead of the fire, creating spot fires that will move quickly and in different directions. These spot fires may threaten your home earlier than the predicted main fire front."
The fire was downgraded to watch and act level just after 9pm when winds dropped to about 35km/h across the fireground.
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