Early assessments of the New Year’s Eve bushfire on the NSW South Coast indicate hundreds of properties were destroyed in and around the coastal town of Batemans Bay.
Local federal MP Fiona Phillips said the scale of destruction had been widespread.
“It’s just been absolute devastation. The building loss we believe around the Batemans Bay area and Mogo is in the hundreds. It’s very, very significant,” she said.
“The industrial area at Batemans Bay has certainly suffered significant damage and the Mogo CBD is unrecognisable.”
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has confirmed another death during yesterday’s bushfire emergency on the state’s South Coast.
RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said three people died yesterday and another remains missing.
“We have confirmed overnight that we’ve identified three people having lost their lives as a result of these fires and another person we still have grave concerns for,” he said.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it had been “a very horrible day for NSW in terms of the fire conditions”.
She said fire crews would be taking advantage of easing weather conditions to conduct back-burning and restored power to critical infrastructure.
A significant stretch of South Coast between Nowra and Moruya remains without power or telecommunications.
“We ask people not to worry if they can’t contact their loved ones or friends,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Fire conditions are expected to deteriorate again this weekend.
“We are assuming that on Saturday weather conditions will be at least as bad as what they were yesterday.
“That is something all of us have to brace ourselves for.”
More than 100 fires were burning in the state this morning, seven of those at watch and act level.
Early assessments show more than 50 properties have been destroyed by bushfires in Conjola Park on the NSW South Coast.
The Currowan bushfire ripped through the region on New Year’s Eve, forcing many residents to flee to the beach.
Dozens of cars in the Lake Conjola area, north of Ulladulla, were also seen to be destroyed by an ABC reporter in the region.
He said cars were found melted in the street and paint from vehicles was draining down the road.
Large trees were seen fallen across roads in the town and powerlines were down.