My current home in Meroo Meadow (near Nowra) is now for sale and I am currently building in Bodalla. I have almost finished a large garage/shed that incorporates a bed sitter flat at the rear that I intend to live in while I build my new house. I have been building every weekend for the last 18 months and have nearly finished. I have insured but the value related to partial completion and is now only 66% of what I have spent. I have spent the Christmas new year break painting and received word yesterday that my current home may come under attack from bushfire on 1/1/20 so I returned home that evening, 30/12/19.
There has been a large fire (known as the Currowan fire) burning between Nowra and Bodalla for over a month and it has been slowly spreading. At times the Princes Hwy has been cut due to the fire and on one occasion I had to make the journey from Bodalla to Nowra via Bega and Cooma due to the Princes highway being closed. That was an 8 hour trip whereas the trip normally takes me 2.15 hours.
There were no fires south of the Currowan fire however I woke this morning to find that Bodalla may be under attack by bushfire today. I have not been able to confirm where the fires are in relation to Bodalla as my neighbours have evacuated and the mobile phone network is down. I was amazed to find that the town of Cobargo just to the south of Bodalla was decimated and several lives lost there. I am also amazed to find houses and industrial buildings lost to the north of Bodalla in Mogo, Batemans Bay and Moruya today. We have not had any rain for over 4 months now and would normally have had about 400mm of rain in that time so conditions are very dry and today saw temperatures soar to 45C degrees locally and moderate NW winds fanned and spread the fire at a rapid rate. The fire has in some places been so intense that it has created its own weather including mini tornados. In one instance an 8 ton fire truck was picked up by the windstorm and up ended killing one fire fighter and injuring two others. The Princes Hwy has again been cut by fire in several places and the inland route by Cooma has also been cut by fire. It is expected that the roads could be cut for days. The Princes Hwy has also been cut in Victoria.
So I currently do not know what the fire state is near my Property at Bodalla, I do not know if there are any fire fighters available to defend property in Bodalla and I do not know when I will find out as all mobile phone and internet communication in the area has been cut. I clearly cannot return due to road closures.
As I look out my window from my home in Meroo Meadow all that I can see is an amber glow and intense smoke. I have been told that the fire has jumped the Shoalhaven river to the west of me. So I have to hope that the winds overnight and tomorrow are SE as a westerly will see an intense ember attack that may set fire to bushland adjoining my southern boundary. I have been advised by police to evacuate but have decided to stay and defend. I may be here for several days as if I evacuate police/emergency services will not let me return to my property for several days after the fire has passed. At least if I stay I may be able to put out the spot fires. What I do have to be careful of is that I am on tank water and my supply is at half due to the extended dry spell and I need power to operate my water pump. So my generator is ready to be started.
See main road closures here and look at the area from Sydney to the Victorian border. The map only shows main road closures and not minor roads. You can zoom in. https://www.livetraffic.com/desktop.html
See this map for NSW fires. The red fires are out of control. The current mapping is not up to date as I have been told of industrial property loss in north Moruya. My property at Bodalla is 4km west of the town so it may have already been impacted by the fire as the latest update shows it is only a couple of kilometres away. You can zoom the map.https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-informa ... es-near-me
I have also just found out that mobile phone and internet communication may soon be lost here.
7.00pm here and it is going to be a long night and some worrying days ahead. I hope the new year sees better things.