Australians flee to the beach to avoid a massive coastal bushfire

Australians flee to the beach to avoid a massive coastal bushfire

No deaths or serious injuries were reported on Monday but the bushfires have caused extensive damage in rural areas of Victoria and New South Wales (NSW), Australia's two most populous states.

As the fires come under control, the distressing aftermath can be seen.

THE man who coordinated Lismore's post flood recovery previous year has been appointed to manage the support of the Tathra communities hit by devastating bushfires this week.

The RFS must formally accept an offer of assistance from Fire and Rescue before the government agency is able to respond to emergencies.

RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said the offer of an urban pumper wouldn't have been appropriate because of the hard terrain.

The RFS waited about three hours to call for the help of Fire & Rescue NSW as a raging bushfire tore through the Bega region on Sunday afternoon, despite FRNSW offering assistance a few times.

"As an urban structure firefighting vehicle, the pumper is not suitable for firefighting areas off established roads, and does not have the correct safety equipment to be working in a remote bushland area".

The Insurance Council of Australia has declared the fire a "catastrophe", meaning claims by those affected by the blaze will be given priority.

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Mr Keelty will focus on the call-taking and dispatch arrangements of both services across the state, NSW Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said on Wednesday.

Almost 100 properties - houses, caravans and cabins - were incinerated by the blaze, powered by dry, gusty winds and high temperatures - 69 have been destroyed and 39 sustained significant damage.

"We will try to get them back as soon as we can".

No lives have been lost.

While conditions had eased since Sunday, 63 firefighters and three firefighting planes were still in the field trying to manage the blaze, Greg Allan, a spokesman for the Rural Fire Service, said Monday morning.

RFS assessment teams have assessed 90 per cent of the fire ground.

Furniture maker Steve Jory said his home was destroyed but said "more importantly" his family was safe and they could rebuild.

FBEU state secretary Leighton Drury said the dysfunctional, risky and competitive relationship between the two organisations contributed to the loss of homes at Tathra.