Three people feared dead and four homes destroyed as a bushfire rips through NSW south coast

Three people are feared dead and at least four homes are destroyed as a bushfire rips through a holiday town on the NSW south coast

Three people are feared to be dead and at least four homes have been lost as horrific bushfires continue to tear through the New South Wales south coast.

The Rural Fire Service is looking into reports two people are dead in Cobargo and one person in nearby Belowra. 

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the three people on the south coast have been unaccounted for and the ‘potential fatalities’ were ‘impacted by the fires’.

Meanwhile four homes have been destroyed two hours north at Catalina near Batemans Bay.

Residents chose to remain in their homes to battle the fires as the vicious flames approached, Nine News reported.

Chilling images in both Batemans Bay and the Bega Valley Shire show the sky a dark shade of orange as residents have reported leaves are ‘falling like rain in town’.

Almost 100 blazes continue to burn across NSW, with dozens uncontained and eight on Tuesday morning at ’emergency’ level.

The historic town of Cobargo, to the west of Bermagui, is aflame, with multiple buildings on the main street on fire and RFS crews struggling to save properties. The town was evacuated earlier on Tuesday.

The fire affecting Cobargo is the Badja Forest Rd fire near Cooma, which is rapidly moving eastward and was predicted to be among the blazes on Tuesday to expand most significantly, along with a fire in the Snowy Valleys.

Extreme fire danger is forecast for the Southern Ranges, Illawarra and ACT on New Year’s Eve while surrounding regions – including Sydney, the Hunter and the far south coast – are set for severe fire danger.

Total fire bans are in place for more than half of the state’s 21 fire districts.

The Clyde Mountain fire, to the south of the persistent 226,000ha Currowan blaze, is now impacting Batemans Bay. Massive traffic queues to escape the township have popped up on Beach Road.

Locals have begun evacuating to the beach and houses are reported destroyed.

Fire prediction maps suggest the Green Wattle Creek fire, which has already scorched 227,000ha, may cross the Hume Highway near Bowral.