Fire Emergency Warning As Out Of Control Fire Jumps Highway
It's just the second day of summer, but the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has labelled the 2019 fire season one of the worst faced by emergency personnel.
An emergency warning has been issued for a bushfire burning out of control on the NSW South Coast. The blaze, burning at Currowan north of Batemans Bay, was fanned by strong westerly winds overnight, sending it spotting over the Princes Highway and into nearby Murramarang National Park.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) is bracing for a difficult and challenging day ahead with forecast winds expected to worsen fire conditions. The fire danger for the Shoalhaven region is listed as 'very high' for Monday.
It's already too late for some residents to leave their homes.
People west of the Princes Highway between Termeil and East Lynne, and those between Kioloa and North Durras, including Depot Beach, Pretty Beach, Pebbly Beach and Bawly Point have been told to take shelter from the incoming fire.
The Princes Highway has been closed between Turmeil and the Kings Highway.
People in Termeil itself are being urged to leave their homes and travel north towards Ulladulla. Evacuation centres have been set up at Ulladulla Civic Centre and at Hanging Rock Sports Club in Batemans Bay.
An emergency fire warning was also issued for a blaze in Meads Creek West in the Upper Hunter region on the NSW Mid-North Coast. Residents in the area south-west of Merriwa were urged to evacuate on Sunday evening.
There are a number of watch and act level warnings in place for fires in Singleton, Queanbeyan-Palerang and the Blue Mountains. There is a total fire ban in place the Greater Hunter, New England and Far North Coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast cooler temperatures and strong winds for most of NSW on Monday. Regardless, 'very high' fire danger ratings are in place for Far North Coast, Greater Hunter and New England regions.
"While it's expected to be cooler tomorrow, it's going to be very windy in many areas," the RFS tweeted on Sunday evening.
"This will present challenging conditions for several days with so many fires."
The NSW RFS has said 2019 is the already the "most challenging bush fire season ever".
In a tweet, the RFS revealed that six people have died and 673 homes have been destroyed in the state since July. More than two million hectares of land has been ravaged by fire and emergency crews have battled 7, 300 blazes in total.
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