There is some respite with cooler conditions across the South East this morning, but it was a brutal battle on the far South Coast, where terrified residents leaving Eden described the fire as coming like a freight train from the border.
In Cooma, where skies were already blackened by late afternoon yesterday, the Cooma North main water tank burst around 9 pm, deluging the area with millions of litres of precious water. In a statement this morning, NSW Police said the town would still have drinking water after council officers managed to save the second tank.
There is some respite with cooler conditions across the South East this morning, but it was a brutal battle on the far South Coast, where terrified residents leaving Eden described the fire as coming like a freight train from the border. In Cooma, where skies were already blackened by late afternoon, the town’s main water tank burst, deluging the area with 4.5 million litres of precious water. Genevieve Jacobs has the latest news
Posted by About Regional on Saturday, 4 January 2020
In Canberra, residents woke to thick blanketing smoke. A state of alert remains current although there are no fires burning in the ACT. The Adaminaby complex fire is at advice level this morning.
Around Eden last night, the anticipated southerly change brought the fire up from the Victorian border as far as the southern shores of Twofold Bay at remarkable speed. There had been fears for several days about whether Eden would prove defensible, and late yesterday afternoon, buses evacuated around 150 people to Merimbula from the Eden Fisherman’s Club.
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Late last night Region Media staff spoke to a local from Eden who was sheltering at Merimbula between the lake and the sea. She described the Eden fire as wide and coming like a freight train, and frankly terrifying.
Greg Potts from the RFS said this morning at a briefing in Bega that the fire behaviour had been extraordinary around Eden. He described extraordinary fire behaviour under a deep red sky, as pyro-convective smoke columns moved the fire rapidly.
This morning, fire is moving through the area of Wonboyn, Kiah, Narrabarba and surrounds. Aircraft support is ready to respond in the Wonboyn area as soon as conditions allow.
If you are in the areas of Barragate and Towamba, it is too late to leave. The fire was expected mid-morning and the RFS is advising that you seek shelter as the fire approaches and protect yourself from the heat of the fire – be in the village.
If you are in the areas of Wyndham, Rocky Hall, Nethercote, Eden and surrounds, continue to monitor conditions and be prepared to act should conditions change.
Bermagui community township has not been impacted. There is still fire to the south and west. Anyone who is still in town should stay in place.
Merimbula, Pambula and surrounds are also not under any current threat.
The Princess Highway remains closed at Broadwater as are a number of other local roads in the Bega Valley. The Snowy Mountains Highway is still closed as of this morning after the Werri Berri fire ripped through late yesterday. The vital link to Canberra and the Monaro will re-open as soon as possible.
In the Eurobodalla, NSW RFS report there are still active fires in Eurobodalla but conditions are also much milder.
People are safe to start making their way home, except in around north Batemans Bay, where there is no access west of the highway, including Bay Ridge. Around north Moruya there is also no access west of the highway, including Shelley Road, Pollwombra Road areas.
Residents of these areas should remain where they are while NSW RFS monitor fire activity.
The Princes Highway between Moruya and Mogo is closed but detours are possible via George Bass Drive and North Head Drive which are open. Broulee Road is closed and the Araluen Road remains closed
Power outages continue as a result of fires further north. Essential Energy crews are working around the clock in difficult conditions to return power to the shire. Generators are in place at the evacuation centres in Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma, and at the Tuross Head Country Club. They are also located to support critical infrastructure including water supply, hospitals and aged care facilities, and some petrol stations.
On fuel, Transport for NSW has prioritised fuel deliveries to the far south coast as soon as the highway can be re-opened.
Reservoirs the length of the coast are dropping fast and residents in all areas have been urged to conserve water wherever possible in order to reserve it for emergency use.
Temperatures will be very much cooler today. The Bureau of Meteorology says than Canberra can expect around 27 degrees at most with a Southeasterly becoming easterly in the late afternoon. The very thick smoke blanketing the city means that there is a road weather alert and the reduced visibility is making driving dangerous.
ACT Health says you should avoid exposure to the smoke by staying indoors where possible and not using evaporative air conditioners which draw air into the house from outside. P2 and N95 face masks are relatively effective but only if they are fixed properly. They will become ineffective if moist.
Original Article published by Genevieve Jacobs on The RiotACT.