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NSW Hunter bushfire threat downgraded

AAP logoAAP 13/12/2016

A large bushfire burning near Cessnock in the NSW Hunter region may have been deliberately lit, authorities believe.

The blaze, which began as two separate fires at Abermain and Neath before joining together, was threatening dozens of homes after breaking out on Tuesday afternoon.

The NSW Rural Fire Service says an emergency warning for the area was downgraded about 4pm after easing weather conditions allowed firefighters to gain the upper hand.

"The cause of the fire is still being determined but it's being treated as suspicious," a NSW RFS spokesman told AAP.

Residents in the affected areas of Charles Street, York Street and Ridley Street and Carrs Road were still being urged to remain vigilant and watch for embers.

Ausgrid said emergency crews were investigating power cuts to about 1500 homes and businesses in the area.

Several local roads remain closed, including parts of Cessnock Road in both directions.

"(The fire) is a timely reminder to make sure your bushfire emergency plans are up to date," the RFS spokesman said.

The fires were among dozens which sparked up around the state on Tuesday as temperatures soared to the high 30s for much of Sydney.

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