NSW bushfire emergency worsened by winds as out-of-control Currowan blaze burns towards homes
Photo: Strongs winds have pushed the bushfire across the Princess Highway towards the coast. (ABC News: Ian Cutmore)
A bushfire burning out of control on the New South Wales South Coast has closed sections of the Princes Highway, shutting off escape routes for some nearby coastal communities.
The fire, north of Batemans Bay at Currowan, is subject to an emergency warning and was bolstered by strong westerly winds overnight, crossing the Princes Highway and into Murramarang National Park.
The NSW Rural Fire Service said activity had increased this afternoon due to strong and gusty winds, but firefighters were working to protect properties threatened by the fire.
It is too late to leave for residents in areas west of the Princes Highway between Termeil and East Lynne, and for residents between Kioloa and North Durras, including Depot Beach, Pretty Beach, Pebbly Beach and Bawly Point.
Residents in Termeil itself are being urged to leave north towards Ulladulla now, while residents in South Durras are being urged to head towards Batemans Bay if it is safe to do so.
"We do have a significant amount of [fire] now across the Princes Highway, around the south of Termeil," Mark Williams from the Shoalhaven RFS said.
"That fire's making its way in trying and increasingly strong wind conditions out to the east, and its going to impact on those coastal settlements between Bawley Point and North Durras during the day."
Rural Fire Service spokesman Greg Allan said the blaze had intensified and grown since it was first declared an emergency yesterday.
"What we've seen overnight, around midnight, is the fire spotted across the Princes Highway in the easterly direction under very strong westerly winds," he said.
"That's basically cut the access for those coastal communities.
"Take shelter as the fire approaches and protect yourself from the heat of the fire."
Evacuation centres have opened at the Ulladulla Civic Centre and at Hanging Rock Sports Club in Batemans Bay.
The fire has burned through more than 15,000 hectares so far, and Superintendent Williams said there was no information as to whether properties had been damaged.
"We don't have any specific details of property loss at this point in time," he said.