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GET OUT | Tourists urged to leave NSW South Coast ahead of extreme fire danger

Article image for GET OUT | Tourists urged to leave NSW South Coast ahead of extreme fire danger

Holidaymakers are being urged to get out of the NSW South Coast, with the fire forecast predicted to be even worse than New Year’s Eve.

Widespread extreme fire danger is forecast for this Saturday, January 4, particularly in the area from Batemans Bay to the Victorian border.

The New Year’s Eve fires have claimed the lives of at least seven people in NSW, but the Rural Fire Service (RFS) is warning the conditions forecast for this weekend are even worse.

It isn’t safe to travel to the South Coast this weekend, and the RFS says tourists who are already there need to get out immediately (more information HERE).

Drivers are able to travel north on the Princes Highway from Batemans Bay, but they are being urged to be patient as many roads are still closed.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons tells John Stanley “the consequences can be fatal” if people don’t heed the warning.

“We’ve seen people incinerated in vehicles trying to leave when it’s too late. The risk is very real.

“We’re saying particularly to holidaymakers and those who don’t need to be in the South Coast on Saturday, leaving is by far the safest and preferred option that we have.

“The less people that need to be concentrated into safer areas, the better off we’re going to be.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers tells Natalie Peters and Erin Molan this is the first time they have issued such a leave notice.

“There is cars leaving in a constant stream from those areas… I really genuinely thank the people for taking that seriously.

“We’re very concerned that the conditions forecast for Saturday could be worse than New Year’s Eve.”

He says these fires are unprecedented.

“I don’t even have to think about it, it is absolutely the worst we’ve ever seen it.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview


Image: Getty/Mark Graham

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