A firefighter stands among embers as teams battle to prevent a flare up of a bushfire that burnt several houses and threatened vineyards in Somerset West, near Cape Town, South Africa January 4, 2017. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

An emergency warning for a bushfire that continues to blaze west of Camberwell has been downgraded to watch-and-act. The fire has progressed towards the New England Highway and is close to the village.

The bushfire, which posed significant risk to properties near Singleton in the New South Wales Hunter region, has been controlled by firefighters. "Residents should monitor conditions and take advice from firefighters in the area," the Rural Fire Service said. As of 11AM on Tuesday, an emergency warning for the fire burning east towards Camberwell, north of Singleton, had been placed into effect.

Aerial assistance had been summoned to help protect properties. The initial emergency warning was downgraded to watch-and-act 45 minutes later. However, the fire continues to burn near the highway and around McInerney Road, Alpha Street, Lethbridge Street, Glennie Street, Powditch Street, Dyrring Street, Dawson Street and Dulwich Place.

"The alert level for this fire has been downgraded as the fire has been contained," an alert from the DFES said. "There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a fire is approaching in the area and conditions are changing."

According to AAP (via SBS), the fire, which had spread to an area of 30 hectares, had crossed the New England Highway and was progressing towards Camberwell Village. Nevertheless, the RFS has said the blaze does not pose any risk to properties. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the mercury levels reaching a scorching 36 degrees Celsius in Singleton on Tuesday morning and the northwesterly winds blowing at a speed of almost 40 kilometres per hour had contributed to the growing fire.

Two large air tankers were deployed to assist firefighters in containing the fire. Residents are being urged to be on the lookout for the conditions.

The cause of the fire has not been made clear. Another blaze, burning in King River, Western Australia, has been successfully contained. Although an emergency had been issued previously, the blaze was brought under control by 2.20PM.