THE fire west of Wandandian at Deans Gap in the Shoalhaven has re-ignited, despite a massive overnight effort that had contained the blaze.
The Shoalhaven Emergency Operations Centre has advised that the Deans Gap fire has broken out on its eastern front, forcing road closures along sections of Main Road 92.
The road closures are at:
*Princes Highway / Turpentine Road
*Princes Highway / Wandean Road
*Princes Highway / Twelve Mile Road
*Yerriyong Road / Braidwood Road
*Braidwood Road / Wandean Road.
There are six RFS crews on the scene.
We will bring you more details as they come to hand.
This morning authorities were pleased with efforts to contain the fire overnight and this morning involving 40 RFS crews, five helicopters carrying out water bombing and one remote firefighting crew.
Firefighters from the remote crew were winched into the area to help control the blaze which was burning in difficult terrain in the Morton National Park 12 kms west of Wandandian.
The RFS confirmed the fire was close to the area where the devastating fires of 2001 began.
The RFS fears if this fire gets out of control it could move quickly towards coastal villages impacting properties in the Wandandian and Sussex Inlet areas and surrounds.
The briefing was told 3,500 community newsletters containing fire safety information have been printed by council and distributed by SES volunteers to households in villages that may be affected.
Shoalhaven police have been assisting to evacuate camping grounds, including at Bendeela and Kangaroo Valley.
Three families were evacuated from the Scotts College camp in the valley while Bream Beach and Wrights Beach camping areas at Erowal Bay have also been emptied of visitors.
The gates to the Beecroft headland near Currarong have been closed and all campgrounds evacuated.
Boats in that area were moved to Callala Bay.
Naval personnel from HMAS Albatross west of Nowra have put fire patrols on standby in the area, and two navy Sea Hawk helicopters are on standby at the base to assist with water bombing if necessary.
*Below: The bushfire situation across the state
Deputy Incident Controller Mark Williams said while conditions today were horrific, we were fortunate that the forecast for tomorrow is for much cooler and milder weather.
In response to concerns that some residents had been frightened by receiving a text message warning of catastrophic conditions, Mr Williams defended the move.
“The text message is not a crying wolf scenario,” he said.
“The danger is real with extreme potential. It lets the public know the gloves are off, we’ve been warning about this for months. This is serious.”