TEMPERATURES are already in the thirties in the Shoalhaven this morning, as firefighters continue to battle a blaze at Dean’s Gap, 12kms west of Wandandian.
The fire was burning out of control last night, but 25 NSW Rural Fire Service crew working throughout the night to completely black out and strengthen containment lines around the fire.
Although no roads in the area are closed, the RFS is urging residents to avoid
roads in the vicinity of the fire due to the number of firefighting vehicles travelling on roads.
Weather conditions are expected to become progressively worse throughout today and the fire could escape containment lines.
This would result in a rapid spread towards the coast, in a scenario similar to the devastating fires of 2001.
Based on latest predictions, the fire may spread at a speed of three kilometres per hour, or faster.
Residents living or holidaying in the Wandandian, Sussex Inlet, Swanhaven, Cudmirrah and Berrara areas have been advised to move to a built up area such as Nowra or Ulladulla town centre for the day.
Other fires are burning at Oallen Ford and Bungonia, but focus remains on the Deans Gap fire,which has so far burnt out approximately six hectares of bushland.
Residents living or holidaying in the following areas should move away from bushland for the day, to a built up area such as the centre of a town like Nowra or Ulladulla:
- Sussex Inlet Road / Sussex Inlet
It is strongly recommended that people leave these areas as soon as possible on this morning.
In deciding to leave, people should remember to take medications and other important personal items with them, including a change of clothing in case you are unable to return in the afternoon or evening.
Residents and visitors in other Bush Fire Prone areas within the Shoalhaven are also strongly advised to consider their options in relation to any possible further outbreaks of fire. These can include:
- Leaving bush fire prone areas the night before or early in the day is your safest option – do not wait to see if an outbreak occurs
- Avoid forested areas, thick bush or dry grass
- Know your trigger – make a decision about:
- When will you leave?
- Where will you go?
- How you will get there?
- When you will return?
- What you will do if you cannot leave
For information on closures of National Parks associated with this fire, please visit www.npws.nsw.gov.au.
If you need to report a new fire or require urgent assistance, dial Triple Zero (000).
The next update on this fire will be issued by 11am or if the situation changes.
More than 80 fires are now burning across NSW.
There are no reports of any active fires burning in the Illawarra.
There are no disruptions to train services on the South Coast Line.
Last night residents across the region were sent text and voicemail messages warning of the potential danger.
A total fire ban is now in effect.
A north-westerly wind is now blowing across the region.
Illawarra Zone Rural Fire Service (RFS) Superintendent Richard Cotterill said the combination of dry weather, extreme heat and strong north and north-westerly winds would create "one of the worst fire danger days that we've seen for a long, long time".
WHO TO CONTACT
Call 000 in an emergency to contact police, fire, rescue and ambulance services.
For updates and advice contact the Rural Fire Service 1800679737, visit rfs.nsw.gov.au or follow @rfsnsw on Twitter