Home And Away: Lighthouse In Fire Drama
The lighthouse made famous in TV soap Home And Away has been saved from destruction by volunteer firefighters.
Hot and windy weather caused a major bushfire to take hold on the Barrenjoey headland, which often features in scenes from the hit TV show.
The blaze, one of many across the state of New South Wales, broke out across the headland on Saturday, with billowing black smoke visible from the adjacent Palm Beach, which is renamed "Summer Bay" for the soap.
An emergency alert was initially issued and headland visitors were advised to seek shelter near the lighthouse after access to a walking trail was cut off.
About 80 Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighters and three aircraft were brought in to battle the fire.
The lighthouse was saved but a nearby lighthouse cottage sustained some roof damage.
At the height of the fire it was feared some tourists may have been trapped, but all people have since been accounted for.
One firefighter sustained minor injuries in the blaze.
It is not known how the fire was sparked.
RFS spokesman Ben Shepherd said 60% of the Barrenjoey headland around the lighthouse had been burnt.
Witness Scott Carpenter said the fire looked like "an inferno" and was engulfing the headland.
"I'm watching in horror," he said.
"The whole east side of the headland is in flames ... it's spreading very quickly."
The strong winds and hot temperatures have kept firefighters busy with 60 fires, including 20 uncontained, burning across NSW.
Mr Shepherd said a fire at Port Stephens, near Italia Road, East Seaham, initially threatened homes but crews managed to save them.
Containment lines have been established around parts of the fire, Mr Shepherd confirmed.
A bushfire that started on Thursday has continued to burn in the Shallow Bay area in the Great Lakes.
The fire is contained, Mr Shepherd said.
Another bushfire that started on Thursday south of Taree is also under control.
Mr Shepherd said while there were no total fire bans in place for Sunday, the main concern was the lack of rain.
"Until such time we get significant rain, we maintain the problem of any warm and windy days we have increasing fire risks and the possibility of fire bans," he said.
Last week a 16-year-old boy was charged with lighting fires which destroyed 40 hectares of land in the New South Wales Hunter Valley wine region.
The blaze threatened property and forced the evacuation of 60 children from a scout camp.