Hundreds of people sheltering in the New South Wales coastal town of Eden are being told by police to leave the area immediately if they are not able to defend themselves.
Dozens of people had sought shelter on Eden’s wharf, but police say that area is no longer safe.
A police officer warned tourists and those not able to defend their homes to leave to “listen carefully” to his briefing this morning.
“We cannot guarantee your safety at present under the conditions that we have now here at the Eden Wharf,” he said.
Officers warn there is now an “imminent risk” from the Border fire burning to the south, and people should leave for evacuation centres in Merimbula or Bega.
“They are considered the safest places to be at this particular time,” the officer said.
“I’m telling you now, and this is from the control centre … that this is not a safe place to be.”
There is an emergency warning for the fire, which has burned more than 20,000 hectares.
Police say they will arrange transport from the wharf for those who don’t have the means to travel. Despite the advice, some people have decided to stay in Eden.
Elwyn Nash said she was evacuated from a nearby town to Eden Wharf.
“We were advised that the best place to come to was at the wharf because you’re close to the water and you can get in the water if necessary,” she said.
“I’m a bit uncertain about what I was told there but I think it’s a bit more sensible to stay here rather than get in a paddock with a lot of people.”
Incredible footage of local firefighters driving between the Kiah General Store and Boydtown, less than 10km south-east of Eden, show the town has so far escaped major fire damage.
In a series of videos posted to the the local fire station’s Facebook page the firefighters drive into Boydtown, unsure whether or not the evacuated town had been ravaged by fire.
“We’ll see if the Boydtown Inn is still standing,” one firefighter can be heard saying as the fire truck approached the community.
“The fire has gone through here, a slow-moving fire.
“It appears that the structures of Boydtown Caravan Park are still intact. Caravans, some are still intact.”
The video shows the township engulfed in a red glow, and trees can be seen burning on the side of the road.
“There are vehicles at Boydtown still intact…Boydtown itself is still intact,” the firefighter is heard saying.