MORE than 135 bushfires continued to burn across New South Wales on Wednesday night, including 30 that were out of control, as fire crews raced to contain blazes before a return to hot and windy conditions later in the week.
The biggest threat was posed by a grass and shrub fire burning towards the east about 11 kilometres outside Yass in the NSW Southern Tablelands.
The Rural Fire Service said properties in the Ferndale, Sunnyside, Spring Vale, Wattle Valley, Yowerweema, Katandee and Euralia areas were among those worst affected.
Fire crews on the ground, along with water-bombing aircraft, worked throughout the day protecting several rural properties.
The township of Yass was classified as not under threat by Wednesday evening. But authorities remained concerned.
''It certainly has the potential to cause quite significant devastation if it were to continue along its current path,'' Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said. ''But I'm confident we will protect the township of Yass.''
Farmers sustained stock losses in the thousands as bushfires continued to tear through properties.
Losses of up to 10,000 were being reported between Bowning and Jugiong, near Yass.
Property overseer Jonathon Burgess said he had lost between 3000 and 5000 animals to the flames.
''The first [fire] has probably burnt about 1000 acres and the sad thing is that the same owner of this property has a 4000-acre place on Burrinjuck Road and it has nearly burnt the whole place out. The house is standing and they have lost everything else,'' he said. ''I think they have lost most of the stock, and I would say that is a minimum of 3000 to 5000 sheep.''
The fire that began on Tuesday at Deans Gap, in the Shoalhaven region, remained out of control, having burnt out more than 4000 hectares. The fire was last night burning in the Jerrawangala area, with the immediate threat being to the north-east of the Princes Highway.
Water-bombing aircraft were used on this section of the fire, along with 120 firefighters and 21 trucks. They were helped by cooler conditions.
While it poses no immediate threat to property, the forecast return of high temperatures and strong winds on Friday and Saturday means the blaze could still threaten the coastal villages of Sussex Inlet and Wandandian.
The Princes Highway was for the most part open but shut in spots for backburning.
With CANBERRA TIMES