EVACUATION plans were in place around the Great Lakes on the NSW Mid North Coast on Friday night where one of 50 fires burning across the state was threatening holiday towns near Forster.
At Shallow Bay and Coomba Park, where spot fires had breached containment lines and burnt through 160ha of land, an emergency warning on Friday morning forced residents and tourists to pack up their cars and head south.
By late afternoon, the alert had been downgraded to watch-and-act status but the NSW Rural Fire Service warned nearby communities to prepare for warm and windy conditions on the weekend.
A watch-and-act warning also remained in place for residents at Yarrowitch, near Walcha, where a 120ha scrub fire continued to burn.
The threat from a 100ha bushfire at the Khappinghat Reserve near Taree had eased.
The fire forced the closure of the Pacific Hwy late Thursday but by Friday afternoon drivers were being urged to drive carefully through the smoke.
More than 1200 firefighters were expected to work through the weekend.
At least 20 fires remained uncontained.
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