At sun-up on Wednesday, a nightmare dawned upon the South Coast as fires wreaked havoc from Jamberoo in the north to Bemboka near Bega in the south.
Strong westerly winds combined with devastating drought conditions to create the perfect storm for fire crews.
By Thursday afternoon, 5000 hectares of South Coast bush land had been scorched by fire. No lives were lost, one shed had been lost at Bomaderry, and investigations into property losses at the Kingiman fire continued.
The horror began before 8.10am on Wednesday, when NSW RFS dispatched an emergency warning for the out-of-control fire west of Ulladulla at Kingiman Mountain.
Within the hour, firefighters were called to Jamberoo and Berry, where fires threatened properties, the David Berry Hospital and the South Coast train line.
The train line closed while firefighters contained the blaze at Berry, but trouble was brewing in Bomaderry.
At 10am the suburb was in a state of emergency with fierce westerly winds fanning a fire sparked at North Nowra dangerously close to homes, businesses, a school and a petrol station on the Princes Highway.
Police closed the Princes Highway in both directions between Moss Vale and Bolong roads to protect frontline firefighters.
Students and teachers at Bomaderry High and Nowra Anglican College hunkered down, acting on advice from emergency service personnel.
Water bombing aircraft were diverted from the Kingiman fire to join the North Nowra campaign.
In the end, three aerial helicopters helped firefighters kill flames and dampen the ground at North Nowra.
An evacuation centre was established at the Bomaderry Bowling Club, where NAC students and staff fled to in buses at around 2pm.
By that stage, the train line had been reopened thanks to fire fighting efforts at Berry.
The North Nowra fire alert was downgraded to watch and act by 4pm, and Bomaderry was saved thanks to the professionalism and dedication of NSW RFS and Fire and Rescue NSW crews.