Up to 70 homes and other buildings have been destroyed in a ferocious fast-moving bushfire that ripped through a picturesque seaside town on the NSW far south coast.
The 1000-hectare blaze around Tathra, east of Bega, started on Sunday and was fanned by very strong winds and high temperatures in the state’s east.
It burned through several kilometres of bushland and crossed a river before it reached the township and is still out of control.
As the sun rose on Monday, authorities have begun to assess the area.
“Our early indications are that the number of buildings impacted is likely to climb above 70, but we will confirm that with the work of the building impact assessment teams this morning,” RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told Network Seven on Monday.
“We have this awful situation throughout the community of Tathra, where we have damaged buildings, damaged homes, and infrastructure,” he said.
Hundreds of residents in the town, with a population of about 1600, slept in an evacuation centre in Bega.
Communication was affected after a mobile phone tower collapsed, making it difficult to determine how many people remained in the town.