Firefighters in keen battle near Newcastle airport

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An emergency warning has been issued for a bushfire in the New South Wales Hunter region.

Residents surrounding the airport have ben told it is now too late to leave their homes as the area is engulfed in flames and smoke.

Under southerly winds, the fire has moved north of Newcastle Airport, just south of Richardson Road near Grahamstown Road.

In a tweet on Saturday night, Newcastle Airport said it expected to re-open on Sunday.

Southerly winds have pushed the fire north of Newcastle Airport after burning through more than 1,500 hectares of bush since Saturday
Southerly winds have pushed the fire north of Newcastle Airport after burning through more than 1,500 hectares of bush since Saturday

Runways were closed and flights cancelled or diverted at the height of the blaze, which was being fanned by strong westerly winds.

The Rural Fire Service says the blaze is burning near Masonite Road, Tomago - approximately 10 kilometres north of Newcastle.

Footage from a helicopter hovering over the fire area - uploaded to Facebook on Saturday by the RFS - showed large plumes of smoke moving over the airport.

Conditions continued to ease over the evening and the alert level was downgraded to 'advice level, with firefighters to remain on scene overnight.

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