Tag: Badja Forest Road
Large parts of the NSW South Coast are expected to lose all telecommunications in coming hours, as bushfires continue to ravage the region.
Two people have died and a third is missing amid the bushfire crisis, which has seen several emergency fires burn out of control.
- A power outage tonight is expected to knock out internet and phone access between Nowra and Moruya
- Residents are being urged to move towards urban areas, or seek shelter on beaches
- Authorities say two people have died and a third is unaccounted for
Father and son Robert Salway, 63, and Patrick Salway, 29, perished in the blaze, which tore through the Bega Valley town of Cobargo early this morning.
The pair had stayed behind to defend their property in Wandella, 10 kilometres west of Cobargo, after Robert’s wife — who is also Patrick’s mother — evacuated.
She returned on Tuesday morning and discovered their bodies.
A third person is missing at Belowra.
Large areas of Cobargo were destroyed when the fire ripped into the town, with buildings on the main street reduced to rubble.
But the threat has extended across more than one hundred kilometres along the coast.
Police are warning that the area between Nowra and Moruya — a large portion of the coastline — is expected to lose all telecommunications access overnight.
A power outage will mean the region will lose internet, mobile phone coverage and landline connections.
The outage is expected to affect hospitals as well as the general public.
As of early Wednesday morning there were three emergency-level fires burning in or near the South Coast region.
They are located at:
- Badja Forest Road, Countegany, north of Bega
- Clyde Mountain, near the Kings Highway
- Currowan, where a massive fire has burned through hundreds of thousands of hectares north of Batemans Bay over the past month.
Three more fires are burning at watch and act level: one at Werri Berri, one at Charleys Forest, and another at Clyde Ridge Rd, south-west of Nowra.
The Currowan fire, being pushed by a southerly change, generated a thunderstorm above itself as it bore down on communities between Milton and Nowra.
The Princes Highway remains closed at several locations and motorists are advised to stay away from the South Coast as there is no forecast for when the road will reopen.
Other road closures include the Kings Highway, between Braidwood and Nelligen and Turpentine Road, between Jerrawangala and Tomerong.
As the Clyde Mountain fire progressed on Tuesday, it encircled Batemans Bay as it pushed south.
There are serious fears for several properties at the tourist village of Mogo, however staff at the Mogo Zoo were able to defend the business and the animals housed there.
Residents east of the Princes Highway between Batemans Bay and Broulee have been told to seek shelter, as it is too late to leave.
Further south, locals say at least one building in Quaama has been destroyed in the Badja Forest Road fire.
“We have got reports from the field that some of the most impacted areas are in the Cobargo area, Broulee, Mogo [and] Fishermans Paradise,” RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.
Virginia Trioli tweet: Power out and can't use tap water now in Bermagui: police saying road to Narooma now closing and we will be stuck here for 3-4 days
“We’re seeing fire impacting onto communities, people’s homes and other infrastructure.
“We’ve had reports of schools impacted, we’ve had reports of businesses and some of the small town centres being impacted by these fires.
“We’re talking about the buildings being impacted, damaged or destroyed numbering in the dozens.”
Caroline Long evacuated her property in Verona at 1:00am as overnight winds pushed the Badja Forest Road fire towards her home.
She said she suspected she would not have a home to go back to.
“I’m not hopeful,” Ms Long said.
“I haven’t had anything confirmed but I’ve seen video footage from a neighbour last night who stayed and it didn’t look good.”
“It’s a weatherboard house on top of a ridge, next to a mountain. I don’t think there’s anything left.”
Ms Long evacuated to Bega with her housemate and her dogs and cats.
She recalled the moment she left her home and drove out onto the Princes Highway as “intensely hot”.
“It was just like looking into the gates of hell.”
Commissioner Fitzsimmons said Batemans Bay was being hit particularly hard by “aggressive and dangerous” fire activity.
“We are seeing, for example, a major centre like Batemans Bay, we’re seeing the fire burn right out across the Princes Highway, through towards the coastal areas of Batemans Bay,” he said.
In seriously affected areas, RFS spokesman Greg Allan said 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.”
Others in bushfire-prone areas along the South Coast have been advised to head towards more urban areas including Narooma, Moruya, Bega and Batemans Bay.
Scott Ludlam tweet "evacuated to narooma. hoping everyone in cobargo and quaama got out. thinking of everyone in the path of this thing.. please look out for each other and stay safe"
“Staying safe in large centres, such as Batemans Bay, is a viable option, otherwise a lot of other coastal villages and hamlets, the messages is to head to safety and generally speaking, safety is towards the beach,” Commissioner Fitzimmons said.
“It’s a dangerous and volatile situation already down the South Coast of New South Wales and we expect that to increase as we see conditions throughout today before we see the southerly move up the coast.
“We saw extraordinary fire overnight, exceeding what was predicted in the given conditions.
“I understand the [Bureau of Meteorology] is looking to update the forecast to be slightly worse than they thought was the case yesterday afternoon.”
A total fire ban is in place for the entire south-eastern part of the state, including the ACT.