The escalating bushfires threaten to trap them

Yesterday the Sydney Morning Herald reported on the danger of being trapped by fires on the coast.

Thousands of holidaymakers between Ulladulla and Culburra Beach including Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast have been warned that the escalating bushfires threaten to trap them.

NSW Rural Fire Service is warning that spot fires from stray embers could impact the Broulee and Batemans Bay regions further south. Following intensifying bushfires overnight, on Tuesday the Princes Highway was closed in multiple locations. The Kings Highway has already been closed for sometime.

When Paradise California burned up there were, I think, only three roads out. They were choked with traffic and then engulfed in flames. People died in their cars.

The BBC reports:

In Mallacoota, Victoria – where thousands fled to the beach on Tuesday – police boats arrived with 1.6 tonnes of water for residents. They also brought food, a paramedic and medical supplies. At the same time, police warned people in Sunbury, Victoria – about 40km (25 miles) north-west of Melbourne – to leave the area, as an emergency fire warning was in place.

The NSW fire service says get out while you can.

“You need to leave before Saturday” – that’s stark enough.

In Mallacoota, many people spent the night sleeping in their cars or on deckchairs. Victoria Emergency Commissioner Andrew Crisp said – as well as the police vessels – “a large barge” was sailing from Melbourne to the town with food, water and 30,000 litres of fuel. In Cann River, a town about 80km (50 miles) inland from Mallacoota, residents warned that food supplies were running low. Further north in Ulladulla, New South Wales, people were queuing outside supermarkets – while cuts to mobile networks and landlines meant people also waited to use payphones. The military said amphibious ships were setting off from Sydney and would arrive in fire-hit coastal areas of New South Wales and Victoria by Friday.

More from the SMH:

The effort to rescue thousands of people stuck in isolated towns in Victoria’s fire-ravaged east has started. The military arrived in East Gippsland on Wednesday and Black Hawk helicopters are helping to get evacuees off of the Mallacoota beach. “Our focus today is we’ve got 4000 people in and around the beach there at Mallacoota and we’re working with the [Australian Defence Force] and all the authorities, Victoria Police, SES, all the agencies are working together and our primary effort is to get those people out of Mallacoota,” CFA chief officer Steve Warrington told ABC News.

This isn’t the future, this is now.

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