Authorities have upgraded a bushfire at Port Stephens to an "Emergency Warning", sending Emergency Alert Text messages to people in the affected area.
Rural Fire Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmon telling Nine fire activity has increased over the past hour and the fire is moving towards Rookes Road in Salt Ash.
"At the moment they're experiencing 50km an hour winds across this fire ground," he said.
"And that's expected to increase throughout the day, we've got predictions of up to 80km an hour as the winds strengthen."
The southern side of the fire continuing to burn uncontained to the south of Richardson Road and north of Nelson Bay Rd.
Crews are position near homes along Nelson Bay Rd to protect them if required.
Authorities are saying:
- People in the area advised to seek shelter.
- Follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan. If you do not have a Bush Fire Survival Plan, ensure you know what you will do if the fire threatens your property.
- Only well prepared and actively defended homes can offer safety.
- Strong winds are expected to continue in the area today.