8 December 2019

"Nothing short of a miracle" - Nelligen family saved by the winds

| Elise Searson
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Fire from Western Distributor. Photo: Rosemary Bunn.

Nelligen – It was just two days ago, Rosemary Bunn ran from the fire front heading straight to her property, on the Western Distributor (Nelligen), leaving her husband and son to execute their plan to save the house.

“I still can’t believe it, after what I saw coming at us. The wind changed at the last minute and blew the fire to the ridge east of us, which saved all my neighbours who are behind me. Nothing short of a miracle,” Rosemary says.

As the Bunn family sit with immense relief and gratitude, others in isolated Nelligen properties wait for the front to come.

James Bunn looking out to the fire front as it moves up the valley. Photo: Supplied

NSW Deputy Incident Controller, Ken Hall advised – “people who are out on the western side of the fire, there’s River Road and Currowan, it’s going to be difficult to get back in, because there’s been a lot of infrastructure damage, we’ve got bridges that have been burnt out and will need to be replaced.”

“We are allowing people to go back into Nelligen and Long Beach because it’s safe to do so. You will be asked to leave again if conditions change.”

Tonight (6 pm, December 7) the Currowan Fire is at ‘Watch and Act’, it is still out of control and has so far burnt more than 78,000 hectares.

Currowan Fire. Photo: Christine May

South Durras – Christine May and her husband Paul, have been on watch from their lakeside home.

“Fire caught 800 metres from our place on Lakeside Drive but it’s under control. Yesterday afternoon (December 5), a line of Victorian fire trucks rolled in and were sitting along Lakeside Drive, but later diverted to Tabourie Lake and Bawley Point when the winds changed and they were pummelled.

“We’re still on high alert but temps and winds have been favourable to Durras,” Christine says.

Fire brigade arrive in South Durras. Photo: Supplied by Christine May.

With conditions predicted to deteriorate moving into next week, 21 personnel from the USA have arrived in Sydney to support the firefighting effort. Thank you! It’s a favour returned.

They will be working in the Greater Sydney and South Coast areas, in a number of incident management specialist roles, including logistics, aviation and planning.

In the meantime, the whole region is on alert, scared of what they have seen come from this blaze and others. Will more regional communities be capitulated into this fire emergency? Time, the weather gods and the valiant efforts of fire personnel will influence the answer.

Here in Batemans Bay, we wait, watch, and stay prepared, trying to see and create the light at the end of this tunnel.

To stay up to date with all NSW bushfires, check the NSW RFS website, listen to your local radio station, or call the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.

For information on road closures, check Live Traffic NSW.

Use Register.Find.Unite to register, finds and reunite with family, friends and loved ones after an emergency.

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