North Head hearth: Sydney bushfire causes evacuations, halts Huge Brother manufacturing

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The fire at North Head, near Manly, started as a hazard reduction burn before turning into an emergency when flames were blown past containment lines.

The blaze sent smoke billowing across Sydney Harbour, leaving a haze hanging over the city.

Camera IconSmoke from the North Head fire billows in the air over Manly. Credit: News Corp Australia, Damian Shaw

NSW Fire and Rescue said about 200 people were forced to evacuate from locations close to the fire in the national park, including the historic Quarantine Station.

That included the 50-strong production team from Big Brother – including host Sonia Kruger – which is working on the 2021 edition of the reality show.

The fire at North Head.
Camera IconThe fire at North Head. Credit: Supplied, 7 News
People were evacuated from a number of sites at North Head.
Camera IconPeople were evacuated from a number of sites at North Head. Credit: Matrix, Matrix Media

“Due to the impact of a prescribed hazard reduction burn at North Head, the Big Brother crew onsite were safely evacuated,” a spokesperson for production company Endemol Shine Australia said.

“Filming is yet to commence and production will resume when it is safe to do so.”

Text messages sent to staff show filming was meant to begin on Saturday, when contestants were expected to arrive on site.

Big Brother host Sonia Kruger was among those evacuated on Saturday.
Camera IconBig Brother host Sonia Kruger was among those evacuated on Saturday. Credit: Supplied

On Sunday the Rural Fire Service said the fire was “pretty much contained” after a night of backburning and rain.

It had burned through about 10ha of the national park by the time it was brought under control.

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