A number of homes on the NSW south coast are under threat as an out-of-control bushfire is whipped up by strong winds “unbelievably quickly”.
Properties west of Burrill Lake, a small village south of Ulladulla, are under threat and some residents have been told it’s too late to leave.
Those in Woodstock are being advised to seek shelter in a solid structure as the fire approaches.
“That fire’s whipped up unbelievably quick this morning under those very strong north-westerly winds,” NSW Rural Fire Service Inspector Ben Shepherd told 2GB radio on Wednesday.
People around the areas of Kings Point, Burrill Lake and southern Ulladulla are being told to move into the Ulladulla CBD if they are not prepared.
An evacuation centre has been set up at the Ulladulla Civic Centre.
“Our concern is now given these wind strengths that we could actually start to see embers move onto the eastern side of Burrill Lake,” Mr Shepherd said.
“If the embers do take hold … they’re going to escalate very very quickly under these extraordinary strong winds.”
The fire is about 100 hectares in size.
The owner of Burill Lake Holiday Park said they had been told to get ready but had not yet evacuated holidaymakers.
“I haven’t seen it this bad before,” he told ABC Radio.
A grass fire was also burning out of control in Jerrara, west of Kiama, with reports some properties were under threat.
Firefighters from #NSWRFS and @FRNSW working to protect homes at the Croobyar Rd, Mount Kingiman fire near Burrill Lake. An evacuation centre has been set up at Ulladulla Civic Centre for residents who have relocated. #nswfires pic.twitter.com/F94S6jeAsi
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) August 15, 2018
“It is in a highly populated area but crews are doing their best in some extraordinarily strong winds we’re starting to see whip up and down the coast,” Mr Shepherd said.
“There’s a lot of work still to do to bring that fire under control.”
A fire is also threatening to cut the Princes Highway near Bomaderry, north of Nowra. The fire is burning between West Cambrewarra Rd and the Princes Highway.
Total fire ban declared for Sydney, Illawarra and the Hunter.
Fire crews had already been on high alert with warm and windy weather forecast across the state.
A total fire ban has been declared for the Sydney, Illawarra and Hunter regions.
The RFS has urged property owners to think twice before burning off on Wednesday, as temperatures rise to the mid-20s amid winds of up to 90km/h.
Firefighters were kept busy last weekend with “irresponsible” and “careless” landholders behind dozens of escaped and illegal burns in windy conditions, some of which threatened homes.
Some 48 incidents were reported across the state between Friday and Sunday, 10 more than the previous weekend.
EMERGENCY WARNING Croobyar Rd (Shoalhaven LGA) – Fire continuing to burn in the vicinity of Woodstock Rd W of Burrill Lake, with spotting occurring ahead of the fire front. Residents in Woodstock are advised to seek shelter as the fire approaches #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/AMMD1ji5kS
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) August 14, 2018