Warnings Downgraded In Hunter Region Fires, Firefighters Continue To Battle Blazes

An emergency warning has been lifted for two fires burning in the Hunter Region.

NSW Rural Fire Service lifted an earlier emergency warning about 8pm for the semi-rural Salt Ash community

But it warned though there was no current direct threat, the fire would still burn close to homes.

Image: NSW RFS

"Easing conditions and hard work by firefighters has slowed the spread of the fire," RFS said.

Strong winds are expected to continue in the area through the evening and a watch and act message is in place.

Nelson Bay was cut off after the only road into the town was closed for three hours until 7pm.

The fast-moving fire has burned through more than 725 hectares in the area near Salt Ash.

Meanwhile, a fire near Cessnock was downgraded to an advice message as conditions eased and it was brought under control.

Firefighters had earlier told residents in the hamlet of Pelaw Main to seek shelter immediately and issued an emergency warning as the blaze east of Kurri Kurri hospital quickly scorched 60 hectares.

Fire near Campervale. Image: NSW RFS

The NSW RFS has deployed its new Boeing 737, named Gaia, as the Campervale fire intensifies.

This is the first time the large air tanker has been used by the RFS, a spokesperson confirmed to 10 daily.

It is being used in tandem with Zeus, the RFS' Hercules tanker as the blaze makes it way towards Salt Ash.

Gaia can carry up to 15,000 litres of fire retardant and is the first of its kind in the world.

The Boeing 737 was unveiled just last week, ahead of the traditional start of the fire season.

With AAP.