NSW bushfires: very high fire danger as damaging winds forecast

Doris Richards
August 16, 2018

A fire burning out of control north of Bemboka.

"Under these conditions, fires are uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast-moving".

A total fire ban was issued for Sydney, the Illawarra and Hunter regions on Wednesday - something not seen so early in the season in almost a decade.

Last week 100 per cent of the state was declared either "in drought" or "drought affected".

"It is a really early start to these severe fires, and it's only really been three months since the last serious fire we had, which was in April".

"Hopefully this isn't going to be a sign of things to come".

Ms Curran said the ground near Milton is "dry as, it's crunchy underfoot".

She had to leave after the wind picked up and she was overcome by smoke on the property.

Nearby resident Barry Matthews said "absolutely howling" winds woke him about 6am.

Hundreds of NSW South Coast residents were forced to flee their homes as the first bushfire crisis of a predicted horror season struck with winter not yet over.

"The kind of activity we have seen today is typical of a bad summer's day rather than any kind of winter's day", he said.

He watched the fire as he ate his breakfast before he was evacuated about 9am.

A bushfire burns in Milton near Ulladulla on Wednesday.

Queenslanders are being warned to prepare for bushfires as the weekend approaches, with the threat forecast to be high and very high in most of the state.

The fire is now moving in an easterly direction.

Strong winds and dry conditions are now making flames spread in Ulladulla and Bega Valley in New South Wales (NWS), Australia.

At the height of the emergency yesterday more than 1000 firefighters, 170 incident management personnel, 278 vehicles and 26 aircraft battled the blazes.

With 96 winter bushfires still burning across the state, the footage has horrified firefighters battling to control the blazes.

NWS RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said earlier a shed has been destroyed in North Nowra but it is still unclear whether any other structures have been damaged.

More than 500 firefighters are struggling to contain dozens of unseasonable blazes burning from Victoria to Queensland, with conditions set to worsen in the coming days.

"In my time I don't recall quite as many fires and the length and breadth of the fires", he said.

NSW Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said the fires are a wake-up call for residents in fire-prone areas.

The woman who recorded the schoolboys, Sue St Clair, confronted the alleged firebugs from her garden.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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