Visible smoke and fire activity on Mumbulla Mountain have many Bega residents on edge, but the town remains the safest place to be for now.
Wednesday night, January 1, saw a reduction of the thick smoke haze in town, bringing home how close this already devastating fire is to Bega when the ever-present Mumbulla Mountain came back into view.
At the time of writing, 8am Thursday, January 2, the fire that has spread from Badja Forest and Countegany, devastating Cobargo and Quaama and now threatening localities closer to the coast including Tanja and Wallaga, has been downgraded to Advice level.
However the danger is still present with forecast conditions on Friday and into the weekend expected to deteriorate and the mercury to rise again sharply.
READ MORE: RFS tells South Coast tourists to leave now
At a public briefing in the Bega Showground evacuation centre on Wednesday night, Far South Coast Rural Fire Service Superintendent John Cullen said the services are "struggling with the fires", but that the fire being visible was important "so people realise to make decisions about what they need to do".
"We're not putting out fire, we're steering fire - fire is incredibly difficult to put out," Supt Cullen said.
"Fire has its own rules and does what it wants to do. And fires do irrational things."
He also said people need to remain informed and vigilant, even if the weather conditions appeared to ease on Wednesday and Thursday.
"It may not be flame attack or radiant heat that gets you. If not for continual preparation, embers may catch you.
"Don't drop your guard on your assets and your family."
Advice from the RFS and Police is that Bega is safe under the current circumstances. Should those circumstances change, the public will be made aware.
Bega Police Sergeant Kate Whitton told the briefing, that if it came to it, "we definitely have the resources to defend Bega - but we are most definitely not at that stage".