Family ready to go
A former Southland man and his family are ready to evacuate their home in the Blue Mountains as relentless bushfires head their way.
Sixty-two fires were burning across the state on Monday - with 17 uncontained - and emergency warnings have ben issued for residents of several Blue Mountains townships including Bilpin, Berambing and Springwood.
Southlander David Turner, his Australian partner Libby Wyles and their two young children Ben, 6, and Polly, 3, are renting a house in Katoomba and authorities have warned hot weather and strong winds could fan the flames towards the populated community.
NSW Emergency Service Minister Mike Gallacher said north-westerly winds could result in several fires joining up and moving towards more populated areas like Katoomba and Leura, and western Sydney.
''The car is loaded up and we are ready to leave,'' Ms Wyles said from the Blue Mountains.
''We've heard the weather conditions could drive the fire towards us in coming days. We don't want to be here if that happens.''
The fires had not been visible from Katoomba since they started last week but when the family woke up this morning, they saw signs the fires were heading their way, Ms Wyles said.
''We live on the edge of a valley and today we smelt and saw smoke for the first time,'' she said.
Some Katoomba residents had already left for Sydney and many others were preparing to leave, she said.
''No one wants to be trapped in here if the fires block the roads out.''
The situation was surreal and had everyone was on edge, she said.
''It's the unknown that is the worst.''
If the family was forced to flee the fires, Ms Wyles said she was not sure if they would return despite loving the area.
''If it is devastating and there is a chance of it happening again I don't think I would like to come back,'' she said.
For now, Ms Wyles was deciding what to load in the car.
''What can you take? What can't be replaced?''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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