Smoky Hastings sky from Big Hill Trail fire in Crescent Head

The Big Hill Trail fire at Crescent Head, which was burning out of control on December 5, has roared back to life and has ripped a trail south towards Port Macquarie’s North Shore.

Smoke and embers have filled the air along the coastline to Port Macquarie with the fire front now consuming more than 1500 hectares from Crescent Head to within 16km of the North Shore of Port Macquarie.

Hundreds of people flocked the the Town Beach headland to watch the fire front as it billowed into the sky on Wednesday, December 6. Embers were starting to fall over Settlement Point.

View of the fire from Port Macquarie. Photo: Tabitha DaBella.

View of the fire from Port Macquarie. Photo: Tabitha DaBella.

On Tuesday morning, the Rural Fire Service issued an Advice alert for the bush fire.

Conditions rapidly changed by the afternoon and the danger level was increased to Watch and Act as the size of the blaze skyrocketed from 10 hectares to over 1000 hectares of burnt bush land.

At around 5pm aircraft arrived on-scene to assist around six ground crews with water bombing.

Residents at the Goolawah Co-operative village, located near the fire, were assisted by RFS crews and prepared to evacuate.

Video by Jacki Jones

Goolawah resident Peter O’Hara said residents had their bags ready to go.

“The fire came up from the south and we watched it all day - we were preparing, people were going around doing last minute cleaning up and we have our own little fire truck which we got ready,” Peter said.

“People were on alert and then when the RFS raised the alert level we were getting nervous.

“By early evening the fire had burnt right up to the southern edge of our place so probably a few hundred meters from the first house on our property.

“No one was panicking, but we had our bags packed.”

Rain last night helped to ease the blaze which was downgraded to Advice level on the morning of December 6. By lunch time the RFS re-issued an updated Watch and Act alert.