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NSW south coast homes under fire threat


A number of homes on the NSW south coast are under threat from two out-of-control bushfires being whipped up by increasingly strong winds.

Emergency warnings were issued to residents at Mount Kingiman, south of Ulladulla, and in North Nowra on Wednesday morning, with some told it is too late to leave.

There are reports buildings have already been damaged by the fires, but the NSW Rural Fire Service is yet to confirm whether they are homes, sheds or other structures.

Winds from the northwest were fanning both blazes and conditions are expected to get worse in the afternoon, with gusts of up to 110km/h predicted.

Fire crews are on scene to protect properties between West Cambewarra Rd and the Princes Highway near Bomaderry, where the fire is burning close to homes.

"It's right on them now," NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers told the ABC.

"It's impacting on homes in North Nowra as we speak. Our advice to people is to shelter in place."

Further south, residents in Woodstock are also being told it's too late to leave as a 100-hectare bushfire moves towards Burrill Lake.

Spot fires are also popping up ahead of the main fire front, sparking fears homes in Kings Point and southern Ulladulla could be at risk.

"Our concern is now given these wind strengths that we could actually start to see embers move onto the eastern side of Burrill Lake," NSW RFS Inspector Ben Shepherd said.

"If the embers do take hold ... they're going to escalate very, very quickly under these extraordinary strong winds."

An evacuation centre has been set up at the Ulladulla Civic Centre.

At least 40 crews are on the ground, with a further 20 on the way.

They are being helped by four water bomber helicopters but the fierce winds are making their work difficult.

Crews are also battling a fire on the Bells Line of Road near the Blue Mountains, with a 'Watch and Act' alert issued for the Bilpin area.

The RFS says the fire may impact on properties over the next few hours.

A total fire ban has been declared for the Sydney, Illawarra and Hunter regions until midnight as conditions deteriorate.

SES Illawarra region controller Greg Murphy told ABC radio the strong winds had torn off roofs and damaged trees, with crews already out and responding to calls for help.

About 2500 properties are without power in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions due to the winds.

Firefighters are gaining an upper hand on two other fires, one in Jerrara, west of Kiama, and another in Yatte Yattah.

© AAP 2018

Image Credit: AAP Image/NSW Rural Fire Service