NSW South Coast bushfires live updates: Batemans Bay emergency escalates

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Thousands of people are sheltering on NSW’s beaches as a mammoth bushfire burns out-of-control, even leaving fireys fearful. 

news.com.au

December 31, 2019 11:57AM

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Last updated December 31, 2019 11:57AM AEDT

Thousands are facing a harrowing New Year’s Eve night on the beach in NSW after out-of-control bushfires suddenly flared up this morning and were blown east.

Fire is bearing down on Bateman’s Bay, on the NSW South Coast, with the town now cut off from civilisation.

Meanwhile, a firefighter has been killed in a truck rollover near Albury in New South Wales, as out-of-control infernos threatens homes and lives in three states, with conditions set to worsen in some regions.

Follow our live blog on NSW’s bushfires for updates throughout the day.

Live Updates

Thousands of people are sheltering on NSW’s beaches as a mammoth bushfire burns out-of-control, even leaving fireys fearful. 


Natalie Wolfe

As out-of-control bushfires rage across the state, some NSW fireys are beginning to feel the heat from the terrifying blazes.

One of the worst fires in NSW today is the Clyde Mountain Fire bearing down on the state’s South Coast – especially near Batemans Bay.

New Daily reporter Samantha Maiden said RFS volunteers on their radios were being left with “nowhere to go”.

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An emergency warning was issued for the Clyde Mountain Fire just before 11am this morning.

A southerly change is blowing through the town and is expected to push the fire in a northerly direction.

Thousands of people are sheltering on NSW’s beaches as a mammoth bushfire burns out-of-control, even leaving fireys fearful. 


Natalie Wolfe

Fears are growing for the popular Mogo Zoo as fire bears down on the world-famous establishment.

RFS trucks are unable to reach the zoo and the animals have been locked up inside – with sprinklers wetting the surrounding area as much as possible.

The fire has crossed the Princes Highway near Mogo with fears the blaze could cause the small town’s petrol station to blow up.

Thousands of people are sheltering on NSW’s beaches as a mammoth bushfire burns out-of-control, even leaving fireys fearful. 


Natalie Wolfe

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said there were grave fears for three people unaccounted for in NSW’s south.

“We are getting preliminary reports that we have three people unaccounted for and the potential for three potential fatalities as a result of the fire on the South Coast,” Mr Fitzsimmons said.

The reports relate to two people missing in Cobargo and another person missing at Belowra.

Police said it was still unsafe for them to get to either of the towns to confirm the reports but “the suggestion is at this stage that they’ve been impacted by the fire”.

Thousands of people are sheltering on NSW’s beaches as a mammoth bushfire burns out-of-control, even leaving fireys fearful. 


Natalie Wolfe

Fears are growing for the popular Mogo Zoo as fire bears down on the world-famous establishment.

RFS trucks are unable to reach the zoo and the animals have been locked up inside – with sprinklers wetting the surrounding area as much as possible.

The fire has crossed the Princes Highway near Mogo with fears the blaze could cause the small town’s petrol station to blow up.

Thousands of people are sheltering on NSW’s beaches as a mammoth bushfire burns out-of-control, even leaving fireys fearful. 


Natalie Wolfe

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said he was receiving reports there had been “dozens” of buildings destroyed on the state’s South Coast.

“Most of the damaging and destructive fires – the reports of infrastructure being damaged or destroyed, is centred around these many fires burning down through the south-eastern area of New South Wales,” he said.

“We are getting areas like Cobargo, where there’s been some imagery and some reports of a significant impact to properties, and the estimates I can see through the reports coming from the field is that we’re talking about the buildings being impacted, damaged or destroyed numbering in the dozens across these various fire grounds.”

Thousands of people are sheltering on NSW’s beaches as a mammoth bushfire burns out-of-control, even leaving fireys fearful. 


Natalie Wolfe

The NSW RFS is rapidly issuing emergency warnings as devastating fires continue to spread.

In the past two hours, the RFS has issued a dozen emergency warnings with the Clyde Mountain Fire and the Currowan Fire sparking the most.

Thousands of people are sheltering on NSW’s beaches as a mammoth bushfire burns out-of-control, even leaving fireys fearful. 


Natalie Wolfe

The raging bushfires in NSW have turned the sky black as more emergency warnings are issued.

Footage from Batemans Bay, on the state’s South Coast, shows the thick, black smoke darkening the sky.

Huge plumes of smoke also sat about queues of cars as people in the town tried to flee down Beach Rd.

The Princes Highway was closed earlier this morning due to the bushfire.

Thousands of people are sheltering on NSW’s beaches as a mammoth bushfire burns out-of-control, even leaving fireys fearful. 


Natalie Wolfe

People are rushing to the beach as fires burn towards the NSW South Coast as those in Batemans Bay have been told to evacuate close to water.

RFS spokesman Greg Allan told the ABC that seeking shelter on the beach may be the safest option.

“If it’s safe to do so, move in an easterly direction towards the coast and shelter on the beach,” he said.

“If it’s not safe, shelter in place and protect yourself from the heat of the fire.”

A journalist at Bermagui has tweeted saying residents are taking shelter at the beach.

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