Australian Firefighters Use Aircraft to Battle Wildfire

Fire crews were back-burning Wednesday night to control a blaze burning in Lane Cove National Park in Sydney's north.

A new air-crane was used this afternoon to water bomb the area in North Ryde to prevent flames spreading to nearby homes.

Crews are now backburing to create a safety zone around properties.

Anthony Clarke from the Rural Fire Service said around 10 hectares have been burnt and there was a lot of smoke blowing across Epping Road.

"There's still a fair bit of fire on the ground, so [there's] a couple of hours of work ahead of us," he said.

Earlier, winds were gusting up to 80 kilometres an hour in the area, hampering efforts to contain the blaze.

The Lane Cove blaze is one of a number of bushfires challenging fire crews across the country, including at Bremer Bay on Western Australia's South Coast and near Dalby on Queensland's Darling Downs.

Emergency Warning

Meanwhile, residents are being warned not to leave their homes as a fire threatens properties at Coomba Park near Forster on the New South Wales mid-north coast.

A watch-and-act alert has been upgraded to an emergency warning as Coomba Road is the only way out and has been cut off by the fire.

Police have closed roads and are diverting traffic at the Lakes Way until further notice.

Laura Ryan from the Rural Fire Service says people should not try to return home if they are not there already.

"The advice to people is very clear, it is an emergency warning status and we are saying to people that they need to shelter in place," she said.

"They should not attempt to leave their homes now. The safest place for them to be is inside their properties."

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