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Town DESTROYED By Tennis Ball Sized Embers On South Coast

An out-of-control bushfire has ravaged through the south-east of New South Wales near Bega destroying dozens of homes and buildings.

Strong winds have been blamed for the catastrophic bushfire that took over the small town of Tathra after the area was covered with tennis ball-sized embers late yesterday.

The NSW Rural Fire Service issued an emergency warning after the blaze crossed the Bega River with most of the town evacuated from their homes. Around 400 people are currently staying in evacuation centres in nearby towns.

The Deputy Commissioner for NSW Rural Fire Service, Rob Rogers, has said that unfortunately “a lot of homes in the area” have been impacted.

“I think we’ll hear in days to come some of the dramatic experiences people have had this afternoon,” said Mr Rogers. “I think it’s been a pretty horrendous time for both firefighters and residents in that township.”

Early indications have shown that the massive blaze may have been sparked by power lines in the hot and windy weather conditions.

However, a cool change overnight has helped fire fighters gain control over the blaze with warnings now downgraded to watch and act.

The main concern has now shifted to getting water into Tathra after the local supply was cut off during the blaze. Kirsty Mccain, the mayor for Bega Valley has confirmed that the town’s water system has been affected and communication in and out of the town is limited with a mobile tower destroyed in the fire.

“Until tomorrow we won’t know the full extent of the damage, but we’ll get on top of it as soon as possible,” said Ms McBain.

At this stage no residents have been reported missing and there have been no reports of any casualties.

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