Fire burning in Balmoral, heading to Yanderra

A fire has broken out in Balmoral and is heading towards Yanderra, with locals told to leave the town if the path is clear.

An NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman has confirmed that an emergency warning is in place for Yanderra and people are being told to evacuate to Bargo.

There have been unconfirmed reports that Yanderra Public School buildings and homes in the area have been damaged by fire.

School children from Yanderra Public School were evacuated to Bargo Public School earlier in the day. 

A Wollondilly Council spokesman has called on people to evacuate to Tahmoor sports oval instead of Bargo due to the heavy smoke in that area.

The Oaks resident Sharon Robertson said residents are evacuating to Bargo Oval and many are congregating in the town centre.

She said about 100 people were at the sports oval already and the smoke from the fire was "really shocking".

"People have brought their horses here and it seems that cars and houses are on fire now, because we keep hearing large bangs, like something blowing up, so that must be when a car or house goes off."

A total of six emergency warnings have been declared across the state.

A grass fire is burning at Narellan Road, at Smeaton Grange, near Camden.

There is also a fire burning at St Andrews Road in Varroville.

The RFS has posted the following information on their Facebook page: 

"Current Situation: An emergency alert telephone message is being sent to residents of Yanderra. There are reports that the fire has impacted Yanderra and the Hume Motorway. Houses are coming under threat. Firefighters are undertaking property protection. 

Advice: If you live in Yanderra.

The fire is heading in the direction of Yanderra Road, Berkeley Street, Cobham Street, Harley Street and Mortimer Street.Leave the area now if the path is clear.Move in the direction of Bargo.

If it is not safe to leave, take shelter in a solid structure when the fire front arrives.

Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.If you live in Balmoral. This fire is burning close to homes.

Seek shelter as the fire impacts.

Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

Be alert to burning embers. Put out any spot fires which start on your property.Firefighters are working in the area.

Road and Transport Closures: The Hume Motorway is closed in both directions between Mittagong and Wilston in the Southern Highlands. 

There are reports that it is being impacted by fire. Motorists are advised to avoid all non-essential travel in the area.Southbound motorists are being diverted into Picton Road, while northbound motorists are being diverted at the Old Hume Highway.

Motorists who need to travel can use the Princes Motorway via Wollongong and the Illawarra Highway but this is a lengthy diversion.

The Southern Highlands train line is partially closed between Picton and Moss Vale.

There are also reports that multiple train stations have closed. 

Passengers are advised to delay their trip."

Mr Robertson said she headed down to pick her kids up from school in Bargo when she heard about the fires.

‘‘The Hume Highway has been cut off and the exit to Yanderra has been cut off as well,’’ she told the Advertiser from the side of the road in Bargo.

‘‘The fire will cut the highway any minute now.

‘‘And it’s heading towards the other side of Yanderra where heaps of houses are.’’

Heavy winds are also reportedly causing trees to topple around the area, including one on Narellan Road, near the intersection with Mount Annan Road about 3pm. 

Jessie Phillips, wedding and function coordinator at Gledswood Homestead at Catherine Field said staff had seen flames at the two golf courses around which surround the property earlier in the afternoon.

"But then the fire fighters arrived and we got a warning phone call, telling us to be on alert," Ms Phillips said.

"We're going to stay for now and wait for further advise, but the wind is blowing in the right direction, away from us and we can only see smoke now, so hopefully it won't go in this direction."

Kerry Parkinson, the zone manager of Macarthur Zone RFS said small fires were also burning around Menangle Road near UWS, but they were under control.

‘‘If locals see any fire anywhere, please ring triple 0 immediately,’’ she said.

Endeavour Energy emergency crews are working to restore power to about 8700 homes across the Blue Mountains, Macarthur and Hawkesbury districts with wind gusts of up to 70km/h bringing down trees and branches over powerlines.

Around Macarthur, crews are working to restore power to about 1600 homes and businesses.

The worst affected areas at this stage are Wilton, Menangle and parts of Campbelltown.

Do you know more or have any photos? Please email atarasov@fairfaxmedia.com.au or call 4640 5151.

Go to http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au for all the latest fire updates.

For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com or call 132 701.

For the latest public transport information, visit www.131500.com.au or call 131500.

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