Firefighters on the South Coast are preparing for a hellish day battling the Currowan fire on Thursday after a mild day on Wednesday.
Bushland surrounding the Princes Highway was charred and smouldering between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla on Wednesday.
Bushland around East Lynne was devastated by the blaze while 12 kilometres north from Batemans Bay fire retardant stained the highway.
A pocket of fires burned at South Brooman State Forest and smoke haze reduced visibility in the Shoalhaven area.
Wind carried ash and burnt leaves to homes in Bawley Point where some residents stayed back to protect their properties.
There are four homes believed to have been destroyed by the fire, but those reports are so far unconfirmed.
The NSW Rural Fire Service has so far been unable to safely deploy its building impact assessment teams to inspect the damage to properties.
Numerous properties are under threat from the fire, including those in Termeil, Kioloa and Bawley Point.
Properties have also been impacted at Depot Beach and North Durras.
With a severe fire danger rating, Thursday promises to be a difficult day for firefighters with strong winds likely to fan the flames.
There is a total fire ban in place for the Illawarra, along the coast, as well as in the ACT which could experience winds up to 75 kilometres per hour.
RFS operational officer Brad Stewart said all areas between Maloney's Beach and Lake Tabourie were at risk.
Mr Stewart said areas to the north-east and south-east were most at risk of experiencing "runs" of the fire into the landscape.
"But this fire is going to move in all directions of the compass," he said.
The fire will continue moving west into the Budawang National Park, but likely not as quickly as the fire will move east, he said.
Under Thursday's conditions the fires will likely be uncontrollable, he said, and spot fires could ignite well ahead of the main fire.
Only well prepared homes were safe, Mr Stewart said, and it was too late for people to begin preparing properties for the encroaching fire.
"There no point getting up in your gutters now," Mr Stewart said
At a community meeting residents to the north of Batemans Bay were told they must decide whether to leave their properties by Thursday morning.
Residents of Long Beach and areas close by were told to leave by 9am if they decided to leave and should plan to be gone for up to a week.
Mr Stewart suggested the fire was expected to burn well into next week and the foreseeable future.
"This fire needs rain to bring it to a successful resolution," he said.
Thursday's dangerous conditions follow "a really good day" on Wednesday where there were no property losses and firefighters were able to prepare for the upcoming difficult conditions.
Batemans Bay is predicted to reach a top of 32 degrees on Thursday with winds reaching 40km/h in the middle of the day.
The Currowan fire has burned more than 47,000 hectares.
Evacuation centres have been set up at the Ulladulla Civic Centre and at the Mackay Park Function Centre in Batemans Bay.
Residents should stay up to date through the NSW RFS Fires Near Me app and can contact the RFS hotline on 1800 679 737.