The NSW Rural Fire Service is battling two large out-of-control blazes in the Budawang National Park near Ulladulla and near Bega.
It has been a chaotic day for authorities in the state, who have issued emergency warnings for several bushfires.
On Wednesday evening, the blazes near Ulladulla and Bega are threatening properties and some people have been told it is “too late to leave”.
Earlier, a fire near Nowra destroyed outbuildings and forced homes to be evacuated, however the threat eased in the afternoon.
Dry conditions and strong winds are fanning the blazes.
The fire at Mount Kingiman, near Ulladulla, has burnt through 1156 hectares, and Illawarra RFS district officer Brad Collins said it was proving “difficult” to get under control.
“It’s quite a challenge for us,” he said.
“We won’t even be looking at getting an upper hand on that one for several days.”
‘Too late to leave’
A blaze at Yankees Gap Road, north-west of Bega, has so far scorched 300 hectares and was moving in an easterly direction on Wednesday evening.
The fire was being fanned by strong winds and producing large amounts of smoke, the RFS said.
Residents in the area north of the Snowy Mountains Highway and west of the Princes Highway were warned to take shelter as it was too late to leave.
The fire is burning in an easterly direction towards the vicinity of Desert Creek Road, Numbugga, Walls Creek and Scotland Yard Road, Garfield.
Conditions have deteriorated and the fire continues to burn through difficult terrain, making the situation dangerous for firefighters and residents.
No homes have been destroyed in any of the fires.
The RFS said 33 waterbombers were flying overhead to help the 870 firefighters with 270 fire trucks on the ground at the two out-of-control blazes.
Nowra threat eases
Earlier, dozens of fire trucks lined streets as people covered their faces at Bomaderry, near Nowra, as they tried to avoid breathing the plumes of smoke that were rising above homes.
Authorities clambered over fences in a bid to alert local residents about the danger.
That blaze is still burning out of control between West Cambewarra Road and the Princes Highway in north Nowra, however the threat to properties has eased.
Conditions in NSW are dry; last week 100 per cent of the state was declared either “in drought” or “drought affected”.
There is a total fire ban in place for Sydney, Illawarra and the Hunter Valley.
Speaking about the Nowra fire, Mr Collins said crews were “starting to get the upper hand”.
“We’re definitely not out of the woods yet but we’re getting there,” he said. “Remain vigilant.”
‘It’s kind of scary’
The NSW RFS said residents in the area of Woodstock, near Ulladulla, were advised to seek shelter in a solid structure as the fire approaches. It is too late to leave.
Residents in Burrill Lake, Kings Point and south of Ulladulla who are not prepared or plan to leave should head north to central Ulladulla.
The fire has been at emergency level since about 8am and an evacuation centre has been set up at the Ulladulla Civic Centre.
The NSW RFS said emergency alert messages had been sent to residents in the area, however, Kate Melzer, who lives in the danger zone, said she “had not been told anything”.
“I’m looking out my window and half of the sky is blue and then there’s a definite line in the sky and to the left it’s very orange. The sun is very filtered, there’s choppers in the sky, there’s quite thick smoke and it’s very windy,” she said.
“It’s super smoky and the wind for me is a concern because I know that wind fans fire and I’m just thinking of all those people who are battling it.
“We haven’t been told anything, but there’s obviously something going on. It’s kind of scary.”
Embers and ash have started blowing over Burrill Lake and the centre of Ulladulla.