Winds forecast for the rest of the day could hamper firefighters’ efforts to defend against a bushfire burning out of control north of Batemans Bay on the New South Wales South Coast.
- Easing winds have seen the fire’s alert level dropped to watch and act
- Residents west of the Princes Highway between East Lynne and Termeil, and those between North Durras and Bawley Point are urged to monitor conditions and follow firefighters’ advice
- Residents in South Durras are being urged to leave for Batemans Bay, while residents of Termeil are being urged to leave for Ulladulla
- Westerly winds are expected to pick up again today, pushing the fire towards the coast
The Currowan fire’s alert level has been downgraded from emergency to watch and act, after yesterday spreading rapidly, destroying one house and “other structures”, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
The bushfire, burning about 10 kilometres north of Batemans Bay, has closed the Princes Highway between the coastal hub and Termeil.
Residents who chose to remain in now-cut off areas west of the Princes Highway between East Lynne and Termeil are advised to monitor conditions, take the advice of firefighters, and follow their bushfire survival plans.
The same advice is in place for those who chose to stay in areas between Bawley Point and North Durras, including Kioloa, Depot Beach, Pebbly Beach, and Pretty Beach.
Residents in South Durras are being urged to leave towards Batemans Bay, and residents of Termeil are being urged to leave north towards Ulladulla, if safe to do so.
The fire continues to burn in a north-easterly direction towards Termeil and Bawley Point, but NSW RFS spokesman Greg Allan said winds eased overnight.
“Overnight, just before 2:00am what we began to see was a decrease in fire activity, although winds were still gusty and continue to be across the fire ground, they did moderate overnight, so we did bring that alert level back from emergency warning,” he said.
“As the temperatures rise and the winds no doubt will start to increase into the day it’s important that those in the area monitor conditions, take the advice of firefighters in the area and know what you’ll do should conditions change and you are threatened by fire.”
Mr Allan said firefighters were forced to take defensive measures to protect property overnight, and were on standby to do so again as winds pushed the fire east towards the coast.
“What we saw was the fire moving up to the south of Bawley Point and towards Kioloa,” he said.
“We do have crews in the area, and at one point they were actively defending property around Bundle Hill, and we did have crews in Kioloa should they be needed for property protection.”