Locals prepare to flee to NSW beaches

Dominica Sanda
Ian Ogilviy says he's prepared for the dangerous fire conditions on NSW's south coast

At the first sight of flames Narooma resident Ian Ogilviy is taking his wife and two dogs and running for the beach.

Mr Ogilviy was in his front yard chopping branches on Saturday morning as the area on NSW's far south coast faced extreme fire danger.

He's confident his house is safe but has a plan just in case.

"We're safe enough," he told AAP on Saturday.

"Any sign of flame and we run straight up the street to the golf course toward the beach.

"The main thing is for people to have a fair dinkum escape plan."

Mr Ogilviy - who has lived in the seaside town for about 30 years with his wife Pam - said there's been a lot of fire preparation within the community.

He had a meeting with neighbours on Friday and they all decided to help each other out.

"That's worth all the weight in the world," he said. "We don't need governments."

The concern for Narooma residents is the southerly wind change expected on Saturday afternoon.

That could push the massive 200,000-hectare Badja Forest Road blaze towards the town.

Mr Ogilviy said the wind change during the New Year's Eve bushfires left the sky red and intensified conditions on the south coast.

"Australia never experienced anything like this before on this scale," he said, adding he's "pretty confident" fire crews are as ready as they can be.

Patty Reid, who lives in nearby North Narooma, made the decision on Friday to evacuate and seek shelter at the local leisure centre.

"I live alone and there are lots of trees around me so it's safer being here to be able to get updates from authorities," she told AAP in Narooma.

"I've prepared my house and that's all I can do."

Ms Reid was home with her friend, Heather Ferguson, when the New Year's Eve bushfires roared through the south coast.

"We had this sky that was vibrant orange and red and I could hardly see the end of my driveway," she said.

"It's the not knowing which way the fire is coming. I don't want to go through that again."

Ms Reid is hoping for rain sooner rather than later because without it, she says, nothing will put out the fires.

That's the view of NSW authorities as well who have warned there is no significant rain expected until the end of summer.

Kevin Murphy has lived in North Narooma all his life but expects to lose his home.

"I've never seen anything like this before," he said.

"I don't think the gully where I live has been burnt before. I'm 70 per cent sure our house will go."

His family has evacuated to the Narooma Leisure Centre, but Mr Murphy plans to stay to try and protect his mother-in-law's house.

"We're all very uncertain - we just don't know what's going to happen," he said.

"You see pictures of the other fires and you see the embers and it's just a big worry."