SYDNEY, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- An emergency warning has been issued for a new bushfire burning near Newcastle in Australia's New South Wales (NSW), the state's fire authorities said Wednesday.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) said the fire is burning in the area of Stockrington Road, west of the M1 motorway, and is heading towards Minmi, an outer western suburb of Newcastle.
Firefighters are battling the blaze to protect homes in the area and the M1, the main road route between Sydney and Brisbane, has been closed northbound. "Students from Minmi Public School have been relocated to the Community Center as a precaution only," the RFS said in its Major Fire Updates released Wednesday.
Residents in the area of Stockrington Road have been advised to seek shelter as the fire impacts.
Emergency alert telephone messages are being sent to residents in the area, the RFS said.
RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said earlier that it would be hard for crews to contain the blaze on such a hot and windy day.
"If they are not successful - and if they are it would be extraordinary given the weather conditions - we are likely to see warnings develop in the very near future," he told reporters in Sydney.