South Coast residents warned conditions are set to worsen

Michael Weaver 8 January 2020
Malua Bay Rural Fire Brigade

Smiling and sooty members of the Malua Bay Rural Fire Brigade. Photo: Malua Bay Rural Fire Brigade Facebook.

South Coast residents are once again being warned to prepare for the worst ahead of deteriorating fire conditions this Friday.

The news was delivered at a community meeting at the Moruya Golf Club today (8 January), addressed by the Eurobodalla Shire Council (ESC) Mayor Liz Innes, RFS Deputy Incident Controller Captain David Ormsby and ESC Local Emergency Management Officer Warren Sharpe.

Residents were told power could again be lost and roads closed.

“Residents of properties with a bush interface from Moruya to Narooma are being advised to prepare their properties as well as they can and move to the town centres of Batemans Bay, Moruya or Narooma. Tuross Country Club and shops are still safe zones. We are being asked to prepare for power to go down and roads to close again,” Mr Ormsby said.

He added that fires that have so far burned to the north and south of Moruya will join together and threaten the coast all the way from Moruya to Narooma on Friday or Saturday.

“The next opportunity for significant fire activity is Friday with westerly winds all day, followed by a southerly at midnight. The best case for Friday is a north-easterly wind opposing the westerly, but we have to be prepared for the worst.

“The outlook for Friday is an increase in fire behaviour very early on Friday morning. Anyone in rural and remote areas needs to be in a safe place by Thursday night. We do not want anyone in remote areas,” Mr Ormsby said.

Mr Sharpe also provided the latest update on property assessment in the Shire which is now 85 per cent complete.

A total of 416 homes have so far been destroyed in the Eurobodalla, including 70 facilities and 630 outbuildings.

A further 204 homes have been damaged, including 22 facilities and 191 outbuildings.

Pleading for patience, Mayor Liz Innes told the meeting of her sheer relief upon hearing that power had been restored to Batemans Bay and surrounds; however, she said there will continue to be testing days ahead.

“Our community is struggling and hurting and we all need to support each other in the days, weeks, months and years ahead,” Mayor Innes said.

“Our immediate focus is on the people who have lost everything.”

Mayor Innes said she has spent the last week at an evacuation centre in Batemans Bay where she met elderly residents being fed by people cooking a barbecue because there was no power.

“During the coming days, there will again be limited access to milk, ice, water and fuel. Please know that everyone we have out there is doing all they can to help.

“Make sure your homes are as prepared as they can be. The more you are prepared, the better. If you can help, please do.”

Mayor Innes said there is great information on how to prepare your house in an emergency on the RFS website.

Further south at Bega, power is back at Bermagui and surrounds. Fire crews have spent the last couple of days mopping up, blacking out edges and preparing new containment lines ahead of worsening conditions later this week.

Marty Webster from Far South Coast RFS said this Friday will be another challenging day.

“People should prepare for Friday in the same way that they prepared for last Saturday.

“We have had a practice run at this now. I’d encourage people to review how things played out for them on Saturday,” Mr Webster said.

“What are the things you could have done better? Are there things that you never want to do again?

“There are people who choose to stay and defend that are now saying they’d never do that again.

“That’s not the case for everyone, but please be aware you are exposing yourself to possibly significant trauma even if the fire doesn’t impact your property.”

Further information can be found on the Bega Valley Shire Council Facebook page.

What's Your Opinion?

50 Responses to South Coast residents warned conditions are set to worsen

Katie Lou Katie Lou 2:46 pm 09 Jan 20

Does anyone know of any assistance available to people who still have their home but no power and cant work due to constant evacuations and loss of infrastructure etc

    Amanda Howard Amanda Howard 6:06 pm 11 Jan 20

    Katie Stokes have you found help cause I have a number an I can msg you

    Katie Lou Katie Lou 6:40 pm 11 Jan 20

    Amanda Howard not as of yet any information welcome

    Emily Hall Emily Hall 8:37 pm 13 Jan 20

    Katie Stokes a lot of the banks are offering financial hardship assistance.

Stephen Messy Stephen Messy 2:41 pm 09 Jan 20

Less people in the surf👍

Kerry O'Brien Kerry O'Brien 1:25 pm 09 Jan 20

We are living in the ‘Twilight Zone’

Helen Saunders Helen Saunders 12:14 pm 09 Jan 20

I could hit 'like' but I can't like it!!!

    Kerry O'Brien Kerry O'Brien 1:22 pm 09 Jan 20

    Likewise: hope you & yours are ok

    How did your daughter fare in Cobargo?

    Back to Showground tonight

    Onwards & Upwards 🦘love🤦‍♀️

    Helen Saunders Helen Saunders 1:56 pm 09 Jan 20

    Kerry O'Brien yes me too either tonight or tomorrow.

    Bernies home still standing but fires around so she is still at evacuation with her doggies.

    Kerry O'Brien Kerry O'Brien 2:10 pm 09 Jan 20

    Helen Saunders

    CHEYENNE & I spent last Sat with the 3 dogs plus cat in powerless van:rather not repeat

    Acquired generator today

    Feeling fear/foreboding are not my emotions of choice

    Good Luck🦘🐨🦜🌱🍃💜➡️

    Helen Saunders Helen Saunders 4:11 pm 09 Jan 20

    Kerry O'Brien understandable. Probably see you at evacuation

Alex Volk Alex Volk 12:05 am 09 Jan 20

Heroes good on you guys

Lisa Ashurst Lisa Ashurst 10:23 pm 08 Jan 20

I so hope not...

Carol Comerford Carol Comerford 10:12 pm 08 Jan 20

Please no❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️

Kathryn Ellison Kathryn Ellison 9:10 pm 08 Jan 20

And here we go with the second wave of terror

    Paul Martin Paul Martin 10:38 pm 08 Jan 20

    Kathryn Ellison 3rd wave up here in the Bay 👎

    Kathryn Ellison Kathryn Ellison 11:04 pm 08 Jan 20

    Paul Martin it’s very disconcerting ...... I feel like we are dangling on the edge of danger- to have a house or not to have a house after the weekend... not loving that feeling really

Honor Northam Honor Northam 9:03 pm 08 Jan 20

What is the evacuation plan for those in Bermagui who have been told it’s safe to go home? Bega? Thanks 🙏

Jana Stiller Jana Stiller 8:52 pm 08 Jan 20

Oh no. It is sad news. 😪

Kathy Easter Kathy Easter 8:29 pm 08 Jan 20

I pray it will not be as bad as expected.

Kim Lawler Kim Lawler 7:52 pm 08 Jan 20


Steph Urquhart Steph Urquhart 7:36 pm 08 Jan 20

Anne Urquhart, make sure Glenn gets out

Ben Luck Ben Luck 6:57 pm 08 Jan 20

Matt Marr be careful heading down there...

    Matt Marr Matt Marr 8:55 am 09 Jan 20

    Ben Luck watching very closely mate waiting for todays report about tomorrow due to come through at 10am 👍

Marnie Meacham Marnie Meacham 6:51 pm 08 Jan 20

Everyone stay safe.

Margaret Mulder Margaret Mulder 6:33 pm 08 Jan 20

Please take care u all

Alexis Grant Alexis Grant 6:29 pm 08 Jan 20

❤️🙏 stay safe everyone ❤️🙏

Tina Oconnell Tina Oconnell 6:21 pm 08 Jan 20

Thank you for helping us

Ingrid Mcgrath Ingrid Mcgrath 6:18 pm 08 Jan 20

Poor buggers, they just need a break

    Lisa Berry Lisa Berry 6:47 pm 08 Jan 20

    Ingrid Mcgrath yep. It just keeps coming.

    Ingrid Mcgrath Ingrid Mcgrath 6:47 pm 08 Jan 20

    Lisa Berry , seriously have you even had a decent sleep yet

    Lisa Berry Lisa Berry 6:52 pm 08 Jan 20

    Ingrid Mcgrath not yet. We stay up looking out the windows watching the fire line in one direction and the orange glow in the other. We take turns so there’s always someone watching.

    Ingrid Mcgrath Ingrid Mcgrath 6:54 pm 08 Jan 20

    Lisa Berry 😭

    You just don’t deserve this

    Lisa Berry Lisa Berry 7:12 pm 08 Jan 20

    Ingrid Mcgrath other people have had it worse.

Natalie Winn Natalie Winn 5:53 pm 08 Jan 20

Pray for rain - 100mm’s