A large bushfire burning near Newcastle, which forced the city's airport to close and caused residents to shelter in their homes, was downgraded in severity to "watch and act" on Sunday evening.
Though the fire had begun to subside with crews "slowly gaining the upper hand", strong southerly winds were expected overnight, pushing the fire north.
On Monday morning the fire was downgraded to 'advice' and was being controlled by the Rural Fire Service.
The Bureau of Meteorology had on Sunday issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds to Newcastle, with gusts averaging 60 to 70 km/h, while peak gusts could reach 90 km/h.
Almost 200 firefighters worked to contain the fire "ahead of hot conditions this week", the NSW Rural Fire Service said on Sunday evening.
The fire, which has burned 1931 hectares of land, was given "emergency" status when it flared up at Tomago on Saturday, then downgraded overnight to "advice" level.
Strong southerly winds on Sunday returned the fire to emergency status, when a spot fire was sparked to the north of the initial blaze.
Almost 200 firefighters continue to work on the Masonite Fire burning near Campvale & Williamtown, north of Newcastle. These crews will remain on the fireground overnight as they work to contain the fire ahead of hot conditions this week. #NSWRFS#FRNSW#NPWSpic.twitter.com/vjzQdjq3MN??? NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 14, 2018
In an emergency warning, the RFS said the spot fire was burning in a northerly direction, near homes on Wade Close in Campvale.
A DC-10 Very Large Air Tanker firefighting plane dropped water on the fire front "to slow its spread".
Emergency Warning: Masonite Rd, Tomago fire. This infrared imagery is looking south east over the Newcastle airport. The video shows the location of spot fires to the north of the airport runway. https://t.co/o5vERBAR4L#NSWRFSpic.twitter.com/f5Fi4U9DBc??? NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 14, 2018
"Residents in the vicinity of Richardson Road, Grahamstown Road, Harvest Road, Pastures Drive, Medowie Road and Wade Close, Campvale, should continue to monitor the situation and take advice from firefighters on the ground," the RFS said on Sunday evening.
"Firefighters are in position to protect homes.
"Residents in the Medowie township should also monitor conditions and be aware that ash and embers may fall within the area."
Masonite Rd Fire now at Advice. Conditions continue to ease. Firefighters will remain on the fireground overnight as they work to contain the fire. #NSWRFShttps://t.co/l60v534xuGpic.twitter.com/YH781GGZ41??? NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 14, 2018
Newcastle Airport announced all flights into and out of the airport were cancelled, with services expected to resume on Monday morning.
Fire crews are still working to completely extinguish parts of the main fire, in the areas of Barry Close, Cabbage Tree Road and Massonite Road in Tomago, and areas close to Newcastle Airport, along Williamtown Drive, Technology Place, Kindler Way, Cresswell Way, Slades Road, Sandeman Street and Moxey Close.
"Residents should continue to monitor the situation and take advice from firefighters on the ground," the RFS said.
The flare up comes after the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning on Sunday for damaging winds up to 100km/h affecting Sydney and much of the state's coastline.
The BOM's severe wind warning affects parts of the Illawarra, Sydney and Hunter coastal fringe throughout Sunday afternoon, as well as the northern coast as winds move north in the late afternoon.
"For the most part it's been 60-70km/h across the coast, most of [the heavy winds] after midday," said Weatherzone meteorologist Jacobus Cronje.
"But we've also had wind gusts of over 80km/h towards Newcastle ... and at the Sydney airport and harbour."
Gale force winds are expected along parts of the NSW coastal fringe today. A Severe Weather Warning has been issued: https://t.co/MSG9BOrwXQ. Check observations at https://t.co/T7xOVXXHiq. #Sydney#Illawarra#Hunter#MidNorthCoast#NorthernRiverspic.twitter.com/Dc8xcP6SfM??? Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) January 13, 2018
Peak gusts of wind reached 89km/h in Sydney's CBD about 1.30pm on Sunday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Meanwhile, Sydney's south was hit with gusts of 100km/h in Wattamolla at 4.30pm, and 89km/h at Kurnell, about 12.30pm.
Sunday's winds, labelled as potentially "damaging" by BOM, are likely to continue into the early week, according to Weatherzone.
"These heavy winds are likely to continue throughout the afternoon, evening and into tomorrow morning," Mr Cronje said.
"The wind will only really start to calm down significantly on Tuesday afternoon and evening."
Sydneysiders could expect some reprieve on Tuesday and Wednesday, with temperatures in the mid-20s making for "nice summer weather", Mr Cronje said.
The mercury will then rise at the end of the week, and Thursday and Friday are tipped to reach the mid-30s in the CBD.
"By Friday, it could exceed 35 degrees in the city CBD again, and it's very likely to see 40 degrees in the west," Mr Cronje said.
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