Winds of up to 120km/h blasted the Illawarra and South Coast yesterday as a strong frontal system moved in from the south-west, knocking down trees and triggering fires in the Southern Highlands.
A property in Bowral came under threat from a large grassfire that began when a controlled burn got away.
Southern Highlands Rural Fire Service technical officer Wendy Smith said crews issued a watch and act notice to residents and set up property protection.
"That grass fire was extremely difficult when you've got winds up to 85km/h."
The blaze began about 3pm and was contained by 4.15pm. Other fires affecting the region, including one at Exeter and one at Werai, were started when wild winds knocked over power lines.
"They were contained very quickly - we kept finding more power lines down," Ms Smith said.
Gusts of up to 95km/h were recorded at Illawarra Regional Airport at Albion Park, but it was the Far South Coast that bore the brunt of the strongest winds.
Green Cape, near Eden, recorded the highest gust of 119km/h, while Montague Island, off Narooma, recorded winds up to 117km/h.
Late yesterday afternoon, the SES had recorded 104 jobs stretching from Wollongong to the Far South Coast and west to Wingecarribee Shire. There were more than 25 SES jobs in the Nowra region, while Wingecarribee clocked up 23.
Wollongong escaped relatively unscathed, with six jobs recorded by 5pm.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Francois Geffroy said the frontal system was due to move off the coast late last night, and Illawarra residents could expect calm conditions today.