Campvale, Salt Ash bushfire report FEATURED Medowie & Tilligerry News Of The Area Medowie, Ferodale, Campvale Nelson Bay (Tomaree Peninsula areas) Tilligerry Peninsular by News Of The Area - Modern Media - November 27, 2018 The McFarlane Children with their father, watching the helicopters fill up at the Pacific Dunes ponds. Photo by Nat McFarlane. A DUST storm, howling winds, road closures, families kept apart, a small amount of land property lost and the prevailing courage of many, many firefighters is the story of the Campfire/Salt Ash fire that threatened many during the last week. Modern Media: Advertise with News Of The Area and you get your ad in 1) in Print, 2) on the News Website (like this ad), and 3) on our Social Media news site. A much more efficient way to advertise. Reach a HUGE audience for a LOW price TODAY! Call us on 02 4983 2134. Or email@example.com Or CLICK FOR ADVERT QUOTE At time of writing, the fire has burnt through 1969 hectares, after starting in an area north of the Williamtown RAAF Base and located on Richardson Road. With howling west south westerly winds that were in excess of 60km/h, with gusts over 80km/h, the local crews of the NSW Rural Fire Rural took to it knowing that the situation could get out of hand very quickly. And then it did. In next to no time, the fire advice level increased from the “Advice” level to “Watch and Act” and then eventually “Emergency” as winds increased and took control of the fire. Local residents saw road after road close in quick succession, causing traffic chaos and stopping loved ones from returning home from work, and even worse, children unable to find a way home from school. Richardson Road had been closed initially between Medowie Road and Grahamstown Road, but then Medowie Road was closed between Ferodale Road in the north and Nelson Bay Road in the south. Not long after, the people of Nelson Bay and surrounds were cut off when Nelson Bay Road was closed at Paul’s Corner. Lemon Tree Passage Road followed shortly after, leaving even more people isolated. Once again, the local community came together in the face of crisis. Our firefighters were looked after with food and drink with donation after donation finding their way to men and women (and one former Prime Minister) on the front line. Irrawang High School became an emergency evacuation centre taking in students from various schools around the area who were unable to make it home due to the road closures. The Salvation Army lept into action to feed the stranded students and teachers, and Hunter Valley Buses and Port Stephens Coaches eventually got them home safely when Nelson Bay Road and Lemon Tree Passage Road were temporarily re-opened. With the help of several firefighting planes and helicopters, including the Boeing 737 Gaia air tanker, and the much calmer conditions, our firefighters were able to get the upper hand on the blaze. Spectacular scenes at Pacific Dunes saw families able to shake off the worry of the spreading fire, and enjoy the excitement of watching these magnificent aircraft collect water from the ponds and waterways of the golf course to returning over and over to refill and head off again to douse the flames. Yes, there were some land property losses, but there are many more stories of near misses and of course the most important of all, no lives were lost. It was a tough situation for many, but once again, our community came through. Thank you to all our firefighters and support crew for all you do to keep us safe. By Rachael VAUGHAN The Petterson Children, waving their thanks in excitement to the helicopters collecting more water for the Campvale fire. Photo by Christelle Petterson. ‘Not in my backyard!’ Golf carts alongside fire trucks, battling the Campvale fire as it tried to enter the golf course at Pacific Dunes. Photo by Nicole Curry.