Drifts of black ash are piling up on Tathra Beach as the bushfire crisis continues right across the South Coast.
Stefanie de Bruijn and her partner Roy van Casteren sent in photos and video of the popular beach taken on Wednesday afternoon, January 1.
Similar scenes are surely playing out up and down the NSW coast as fires rage out of control in a deadly fire season.
Tathra and nearby localities were themselves the victims of a devastating fire in March 2018. This time around it's a (relatively) safe haven for residents and tourists being evacuated from nearby towns both north and south.
The surf club was an emergency evacuation point up until noon on New Year's Day, whereupon club members resumed their usual duties.
Meanwhile, beaches across the Far South Coast were closed with regular patrols cancelled due to bushfire relief efforts being conducted by their volunteer surf lifesavers.
Thousands of people were evacuated to surf club evacuation centres on the NSW Far South Coast on December 31 as bushfires raged out of control in the area threatening lives and property.
Road closures on the Princes, Kings and Snowy Mountains highways, due to multiple bushfires burning out of control, prevented thousands of holidaymakers and local residents from leaving the area.
More than 5000 people sheltered at Bermagui Surf Club on Tuesday. Over 1000 people remain at Batemans Bay Surf Club on Wednesday. Broulee, Moruya, Narooma, Bermagui, Tathra and Pambula surf clubs were also opened as evacuation centres.
Other surf clubs on the South Coast were also opened as makeshift shelters for people requiring emergency accommodation due to road closures in the Ulladulla region.
On Tuesday, volunteer surf lifesavers mobilised quickly to provide support to people affected by the bushfires. This included providing oxygen treatment to many people who were suffering from breathing and respiratory difficulties due to smoke inhalation.
Air quality on the Far South Coast remains poor and SLSNSW is now working on logistics to replenish oxygen cylinder supplies and other first aid equipment so that surf lifesavers can continue to provide treatment to those people suffering from respiratory difficulties and other injuries.
NSW emergency service organisations remain on high alert with weather conditions expected to worsen later this week with catastrophic, hot and windy conditions forecast.
Surf Life Saving NSW is working closely with other emergency service organisations, including Police, Rural Fire Service, SES and Marine Rescue on the response to the bushfire crisis. Officers from SLSNSW are currently co-located in Rural Fire Service Headquarters and Marine Area Command in Sydney.
"Yesterday's response to the bushfire crisis represents the largest ever emergency that SLSNSW, as an emergency service organisation, has responded to in collaboration with other emergency service organisations and other agencies to protect our communities," said Steven Pearce, CEO Surf Life Saving NSW.
"With a membership of 75,000 people, with a huge proportion trained as first aid responders, SLSNSW was used to its maximum effectiveness in this period.
"We have no doubt that we have members who have lost their own homes while they elected to assist other members of the community during the bushfire crisis as volunteer lifesavers.
"Even though we have a significant commitment to this response, we are still committed to keeping our beaches safe along the NSW coastline in these hot conditions.
"We're cognisant of the severe weather forecast for the coming weekend. We're restocking our oxygen and first-aid supplies in case we have to respond again and to continue providing our scheduled beach patrols as surf lifesavers," Pearce concluded.
Beachgoers are encouraged to check beachsafe.org.au for more information on patrolled beach locations
In 2018 Surf Life Saving NSW was recognised as an Emergency Service. Clubs, branches and the state body work together seamlessly with Police, Ambulance, Marine Area Command, Marine Rescue and the State Emergency Service regularly.