Five emergency warnings are now in place for blazes across the NSW south coast with homes under threat and a key highway closed.
“Conditions are deteriorating,” the Rural Fire Service tweeted.
People on the Far South Coast near Tantawangalo were warned to seek shelter in a solid structure on Saturday afternoon as the 6000-hectare Glen Allen fire and two smaller blazes all reached emergency levels.
“Wear protective clothing and footwear. Cover all exposed skin,” the warning reads.
Further south, the long-burning Border Fire also flared and spread quickly on its northern flanks near Burragate.
The Monaro Highway remains closed near the ACT border where the Clear Range fire is threatening homes at Michelago.
That blaze was created from embers that moved kilometres from the ACT’s large Orroral Valley fire.
Total fire bans
The NSW Rural Fire Service has declared total fire bans on Saturday for the southern slopes, southern ranges, far South Coast, Monaro alpine and Illawarra/Shoalhaven regions.
A Fire Spread Prediction map for Saturday 1 February on the NSW RFS website shows the potential spread of current fires. https://t.co/v0YTVviT0d
Stay up to date via the NSW RFS website and Fires Near Me app.#nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/V4RZ4KaZbo
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 31, 2020
Unprepared people in Michelago were urged to evacuate to Canberra, while unprepared people in Colinton should go to Cooma.
“If you are away from the area, you will not be able to return,” the RFS warned.
Five regions in the southeast quarter of NSW are under total fire ban on Saturday, with severe fire danger forecast.
The NSW Rural Fire Service has declared total fire bans on Saturday for the southern slopes, southern ranges, Far South Coast, Monaro alpine and Illawarra/Shoalhaven regions.
Nerriga, which topped 42 degrees at 2pm, is among several South Coast locations to exceed 40 degrees.
In Sydney, Badgerys Creek and Richmond hit 46 degrees while Bankstown and Horsley Park both hit 45 degrees.
Heatwave conditions are expected to peak in NSW on Saturday, while thunderstorms – which may ignite new blazes – are also possible in parts of the south coast by Sunday morning.
As of 2.30pm, more than 60 bush and grass fires were burning across the NSW and the ACT, with about one-third of those uncontrolled.
More than 1700 firefighters and 70 aircraft will take to the front line across the day.