Confronting videos show devastating bushfires ravaging NSW and Victoria
Terrifying footage has captured the destructive force of fast-moving bushfires that have ripped through dozens of homes and businesses in NSW and Victoria.
Video shows residents of Tathra, on the NSW Far South Coast, taking shelter on a beach as water-bombing aircraft attempt to save their properties.
Other footage shows homes still ablaze after being burned to the ground, following a horror weekend that forced hundreds of homeowners to flee their homes and sleep in their cars.
It's now feared up to 70 properties, including a popular caravan park in Tathra, east of Bega, were destroyed after the blaze broke out on Sunday.
The fire, fanned by very strong winds and high temperatures in the state's east, burned through several kilometres of bushland and crossed a river before it reached the picturesque township.
The NSW Rural Fire Service says the 1000-hectare blaze is still out of control.
However, the threat level was downgraded late Sunday night after a southerly wind change helped ease hot conditions.
No deaths have been reported and no one has been reported missing so far.
But residents have been traumatised by the speed of the flames which took barely half an hour to cross the Bega River and hit the Tathra area.
"There are no reports of any loss of life, so it will be very much about trying to track these people down," Ms McBain told AAP.
Hundreds of residents and tourists fled to evacuation centres in Bega and Bermagui, after access to Tathra was cut off, to spend the night waiting for news.
Assessment teams are due to arrive in the area on early Monday to inspect properties and confirm the damage.
Tathra Beach Motor Village said it had experienced "significant" damage and would be closed until further notice.
The blaze tore through its front office and reception area but management wasn't able to confirm what other parts had been affected.
"This is a very dire and devastating situation for all involved," a post on the park's Facebook page said.
Tathra Public School, Bega High School, Tanja Public School and Bournda Environmental Education Centre will all be closed on Monday. It's unclear if any have been damaged or destroyed.
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared the fire a "catastrophe", meaning claims by those affected by the blaze will be given priority.
However, the ICA said it's too early to determine the extent of buildings lost or estimate the financial toll.
Temperatures are expected to reach 30C in the Bega region on Tuesday, with light easterly winds in the afternoon.
Those in NSW seeking information about the bushfire on the south coast should call The Public Information and Inquiry Centre on 1800 227 228.
Fires still blaze across Vic's southwest
Up to 18 homes are believed to have been destroyed in bushfires across Victoria's southwest that have also killed livestock and razed pastoral properties.
The latest toll comes as authorities welcome a cool change overnight that they hope will ease conditions for more than 700 firefighters who are still tackling active bush and grass blazes.
Warrnambool Incident controller Russell Manning said his team on Monday will try to bring the eastern edge of the fires under control with the help of six fire bombing apparatus and two helicopters.
A team of 16 vets will also work in the area to assist animals hurt in the fire.
The Colac Incident Control Centre will keep tackling the fires from Terang, Garvoc to Camperdown with more than 400 personnel and 47 vehicles.
Apart from the housing toll, hundreds of beef and dairy cattle have also been killed and about 40,000 hectares of prime pastoral and other lands burnt out.
You can also ring the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 for bushfire information and advice.
For Emergencies dial Triple 000