For Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley, the Currowan fire has a personal connection.
Not only does she own a 100-acre farm with 60 head of cattle in the Brooman area, her family lives nearby.
"The first thing you do is try to contact friends and family," she said.
"The community in the Brooman Valley along River Road is pretty tight. We stay in touch with and look after one another."
That is harder than it may sound. Mobile phone coverage is poor to non-existent and landlines rarely work, so residents rely on satellite internet connections.
"I had a message from one neighbour who decided to get out early when the threat emerged," she said.
"Mum and Dad are next door. They're OK, they're not under ember attack and they have a good fire plan, which we all know about."
She said many residents had homes at the end of long tracks which wound their way through the forest. Getting in and out was challenging at the best of times, let alone during a fire.
While winds were pushing the fire back on itself, Cr Findley was keeping a weather eye on Friday, when conditions were set to worsen.
She has also been taking a longer view on the climate.
"Within 14 successive years of record heat there's been a big impact on the bushland, which has dried out and seems to take longer and longer to recover from fire."
Cr Findley said the warm weather had also seen the spotted gum forests shed bark, adding to the fuel load on the ground.
"I am very nervous about the worsening outlook," she said.