Fire conditions 'off conventional scale' near Port Macquarie on the New South Wales mid north coast

Emergency alert telephone warnings have been issued to those in the region. Photo / Google Maps
Emergency alert telephone warnings have been issued to those in the region. Photo / Google Maps

Residents on isolated rural properties have received emergency text alerts warning them about quickly-spreading bushfires near Port Macquarie on the New South Wales mid north coast.

The state's Rural Fire Service upgraded its bushfire advice to an emergency warning for residents of the Beechwood area. "The fire is spreading quickly under worsening conditions," the RFS said. "The fires are impacting a number of isolated rural properties in the area."

Residents in the Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood areas have been urged to seek shelter as the fire front gets closer.

Emergency alert telephone warnings have been issued to those in the region.

Large swathes of NSW are in the grips of unprecedented fire danger conditions, with senior firefighters describing the conditions as "off the conventional scale".

The Bureau of Meteorology rated the fire danger in the Greater Hunter, Central Ranges and North Western regions as "catastrophic".

As the mercury climbed, records tumbled across the NSW Hunter region during the peak of the weekend heat.

Williamtown, Tocal and Cessnock all reached unprecedented maximum temperatures - 45.5C, 46.2C and 46C respectively.

None could hold a melted candle to the Central Darling township of Ivanhoe, which with a maximum of 47.6C was the state's hottest place on Saturday.

A change expected to sweep through NSW overnight was expected to reduce maximum temperatures by at least 5C.

Temperatures soared quickly across Queensland yesterday in what was anticipated to be the state's hottest day of summer.

Brisbane reached 36.5C by 11am local time but it already felt like the predicted maximum of 39C, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. At the same time the mercury soared past 40C in several regional towns including Birdsville, which is tipped to reach 47C. The small town on the south-eastern border had the state's hottest day of 49.5C on December 24, 1972.

- AAP

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