Two more dead amid NSW bushfires

Emergency warnings have been issued as more than 100 fires continue to burn in NSW.
Emergency warnings have been issued as more than 100 fires continue to burn in NSW.

A father and son have died as "aggressive" bushfires tear through the NSW south coast, razing dozens of buildings and forcing panicked residents to shelter on the beach.

Some of the worst-affected communities along the coast will battle bushfires into Tuesday night with no power and limited telecommunications.

The father and son, aged 63 and 29, died in Cobargo where dozens of homes and outbuildings have been destroyed.

Their deaths take this season's toll to 11, coming hours after a volunteer firefighter died in a truck crash involving a "fire tornado" on the Victoria-NSW border.

Another man, aged 72, in Belowra is feared dead but the NSW Rural Fire Service on Tuesday evening said it was having a "great deal of difficulty" getting into the remote location 50km north of Cobargo.

NSW Police deputy commissioner Gary Worboys said officers were able to enter Cobargo on Tuesday afternoon to confirm the pair's deaths.

"That's of course a tragedy," Mr Worboys told reporters.

Cobargo has been aflame for much of Tuesday, with multiple buildings on the main street destroyed. The town was evacuated earlier in the day.

The fire affecting Cobargo is the Badja Forest Rd fire near Cooma, which rapidly moved eastward on Tuesday, having been predicted as a major threat along with bushfires in the Snowy Valleys area.

The RFS said there was significant damage in the towns of Fishermans Paradise, Broulee and Mogo - which is home to a popular zoo.

In larger townships, residents have evacuated to the beach in Batemans Bay as the Clyde Mountain blaze affects homes.

Massive traffic queues to escape the township have built on Beach Road, houses have reportedly been destroyed and embers are affecting the area.

Due to the persistent 226,000-hectare Currowan blaze in the Shoalhaven, those in Ulladulla and south of Nowra have been told it's too late to leave.

More than 120 fires were burning across NSW as of 6pm on Tuesday, with more than half of those uncontained.

Eight were burning at an "emergency" level.

Some 17,000 people on the south coast are without power and police say outages stretching from Nowra to Narooma are likely to continue into the night.

RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said southerly changes sweeping up the coast are fanning some fires.

"The southeasterly change, particularly in southern areas of the state, is bringing through wind strengths of 70 to 80 kilometres per hour, driving the aggressive fire behaviour we have seen," he said.

"The forecast also is for more instability and dry thunderstorms tonight, which has every chance of producing lightning and more fires down through the southeast of New South Wales."

The volunteer firefighter who died when his truck flipped amid a "fire tornado" at a NSW-Victoria border town was an expectant father.

Samuel McPaul died on Monday just before 6pm when the fire truck he was travelling in crashed at Jingellic, about 110km east of Albury in NSW.

The 28-year-old mechanic, who was expecting his first child in May with his wife Megan who he married last year, died at the scene.

Mr Fitzsimmons on Tuesday said the 10-tonne truck was hit by winds so extreme at the 26,000-hectare Green Valley fire that it flipped on its roof.

"Crews described what they experienced as truly horrific, an extraordinary wind event, describing it as a fire tornado or the collapse of a pyro-convective column that had formed above the main fire front," Mr Fitzsimmons said.

"That's resulted in cyclonic-type winds that have moved across the fire ground and has literally lifted up a 10 or 12-tonne fire truck."

Mr McPaul is the third NSW volunteer firefighter to die this bushfire season.

Geoffrey Keaton, 32, and Andrew O'Dwyer, 36, died on December 19 when a tree hit their tanker as they were travelling southwest of Sydney

Australian Associated Press