Windy weather has NSW fire crews on alert


The NSW Rural Fire Service has completed the first stage of property assessments following the fire, which has burnt through more than 3,300 hectares and is still out of control. The blaze at Mount Kingiman, near Ulladulla, had burned through more than 1100 hectares.

The whole of the state was declared in drought last week and the dry conditions and strong winds fanned the blazes yesterday.

Nearly 80 fires continue to burn along the Great Dividing Range from the Queensland border to Victoria, with 33 uncontained as of 5pm AEST on Thursday.

Residents near the fire were seen covering their faces in a bid to escape the smoke that were rising above their homes.

There are now "Very High" fire danger conditions, with this making it hard to bring the fire under control.

"We're definitely not out of the woods yet but we're getting there", he said. The RFS said while the blaze is burning close to properties, crews are on scene to protect them.

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Conditions in NSW are dry - last week 100 per cent of the state was declared either "in drought" or "drought affected".

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has issued a fire ban through to Monday for parts of south east Queensland.

The fire near Nowra destroyed outbuildings and forced homes to be evacuated, but that threat had now eased. "It's worrying, it's mind-bending".

But the fires around Ulladulla and Bemboka continue to burn out of control - and are expected to do so for several days due to the lack of easy containment lines.

Two other fires - in Budawang National Park near Ulladulla and Nowra - also contributed to a hectic day for crews.

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

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"Cash-strapped local governments not mitigating risk can create a real problem", he said.

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Meanwhile, NSW RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said crews were battling to save homes at north Nowra.

"We are concerned about a return to these gusty conditions on Saturday", he said.

"It will take a lot of rainfall to make up for that moisture deficit", he said, adding that without a decent spring rainfall we would be "entering uncharted territory".

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