Too late to leave: Ferocious bush fires burning on NSW’S South Coast double in size as residents are warned not to leave their homes
- The Shoalhaven region fire doubled in size due to westerly winds on Monday
- A Princess Highway turnoff was closed and cut off access to residents
- The Rural Fire Service warned locals that it was already too late to leave
- The fire had burned through more than 11,560 hectares by Monday morning
A bushfire burning in the NSW south coast Shoalhaven region has almost doubled in size after being whipped up by westerly winds, prompting an emergency warning.
The fire north of Batemans Bay has burnt through more than 11,560 hectares and is quickly spreading east.
The Princes Highway has been closed between Termeil and the Kings Highway turn off, cutting access to coastal communities in the area.
The Rural Fire Service NSW has warned those living in areas between Kioloa and North Durras, including Depot Beach, Pebbly Beach, Pretty Beach and Bawley Point, that it’s too late to leave.
‘Fire activity increased over the evening due to strong westerly winds,’ the RFS said in an emergency warning.
‘Firefighters are working in the area to protect properties where possible.
‘Seek shelter as the fire impacts. It is too late to leave.’
Two million hectares of land have been burnt since July in more than 7000 fires which have raged across the state in the ‘most challenging bushfire season ever’.
Six people have died while 673 homes and 1400 other buildings have been destroyed.
A total fire ban has been issued for Monday across the far north coast, Greater Hunter and New England regions due to forecast hot and windy conditions.
‘While it’s expected to be cooler tomorrow, it’s going to be very windy in many areas,’ the RFS tweeted.
‘This will present challenging conditions for several days with so many fires.’
Air quality in southwest Sydney, meanwhile, has been declared hazardous.