A HALFWAY Creek resident where a sudden bushfire has burned onto his property thinks it will be a "hot summer".

Joseph Knight said he was watching television at his Luthers Road property when they heard the fires start.

"All of a sudden there's fire along the road out here, and it's just crept into the properties," he said.

"We'll dealing with it moment by moment, but yeah, it's going to be a hot summer."

Residents were joined by RFS and town fire-fighting units and later on helicopter and aeroplane water-drops were made in the area.

There are initial reports of some property damage, but it is unclear as to whether any houses have been lost to the fire.

Five blazes are currently being fought to the south of Grafton, with the largest at Franklins Road near Glenugie, currently burning approximately 285ha.

The fire closed both lanes of the Pacific Highway nearby as thick smoke from the fire reduced visibility to near zero.

The lanes have since reopened, with traffic previously diverted to the Orara Way, a route unsuitable for B-doubles.

With temperatures hitting near 40C in some areas of the Clarence, fire authorities issued a severe fire warning, and a total fire ban for the area.

Cooler weather is expected for the rest of the week as a cold front moves through, however temperatures are expected to push close to 40C again this Sunday.

More information as it comes to hand.



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