VIDEO: Highway now open but fire still out of control 

10pm UPDATE: The situation remains largely unchanged as firefighters continue working to contain a fire in the Jerrwongala area 

7.30pm UPDATE: More than 151 firefighters and 27 trucks are working to contain the fire burning south of Sussex Inlet Road in the Jerrwongala area.

The NSW RFS has advised residents of Wandandian, Sussex Inlet and south of this area to remain vigilant and stay up to date with information.

Evacuation Centres in Sussex Inlet are now closed.

5pm UPDATE: Firefighters are concentrating their efforts on the north-eastern and western side of the Princes Highway, with a number of aircraft working to slow this part of the fire.

Potential threats still exist to Sussex Inlet and further south. The township of Wandandian may come under threat if the fire is pushed along by strong winds.

This fire has a perimeter of 44 kilometres and has destroyed more than 4000 hectares.

3.45pm UPDATE: The situation remains largely unchanged as firefighters continue to battle the Deans Gap bushfire. 

Traffic remains heavy on the Princes Highway. 

1.45pm UPDATE: Firefighters are continuing to fight the Deans Gap bushfire, which is still out of control. 

The fire has a perimeter of 44 kilometres and has destroyed more than 3800 hectares. 

It is burning south of Sussex Inlet Road, in the Jerrawangala area. 

The Princes Highway is open, but traffic remains heavy. Motorists are advised to expect significant delays. 

11.40am UPDATE: The Princes Highway has now reopened at Wandandian. A reduced speed limit of 60km/h is in place with traffic affected in both directions. Motorists are advised to expect significant delays. 

Turpentine, Wandean and Twelve Mile Roads remain closed. 

There may be intermittent closures of the Princes Highway as the day continues. 

10.26am: The Deans Gap bushfire remains out of control, however, the threat to the South Coast town of Sussex Inlet has eased, the NSW Rural Fire Service said this morning.

The intensity of fire, which has destroyed more than 3800 hectares, decreased with the arrival of the southerly change late last night, which brought relief for firefighters battling the blaze.

The temperature in Nowra dropped to 24 degrees at 10.20pm, a cool change from an earlier high of 41.7 degrees at 3.30pm.

The fire, which started 1.5 kilometres west of Wandandian on Monday night, continues to burn to the south of Sussex Inlet after crossing the Princes Highway late yesterday.

The bushfire has a perimeter of 44 kilometres. 

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Hundreds of residents and holidaymakers fled the coastal town to evacuation centres set up at Sussex Inlet RSL and Sussex Inlet Bowling Club. An evacuation centre was also set up at Bomaderry Bowling Club for residents who were cut off from their homes by the closure of the Princes Highway.

Around 12.30am, Sussex Inlet residents were told it was safe to return home as the fire threat eased.

Sussex Inlet RSL Club supervisor Courtney Gilbert said only a handful of people remained at the club this morning.

‘‘Everyone has returned home, there’s only a few [people] here,’’ Ms Gilbert said, adding that only ‘‘half a dozen’’ people were still left.

Ms Gilbert said around 80 people stayed at the club through the night, although more than 500 were believed to have taken shelter at the club in the evening.

Lifesavers from Kiama, Gerringong, Nowra, Culburra, Mollymook, Batemans Bay and Broulee SLSCs spent the night on standby in Sussex Inlet, waiting to help with any potential evacuations.

More than 30 lifesavers earlier helped to transport animals from St Georges Basin. 

The Princes Highway remains closed between Wandean Road and Bendalong Road. It is not expected to reopen until later today. Motorists are advised to avoid the area as there are no alternate routes in place.

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