'Like a hair dryer on your face': Tarcutta residents seek refuge as fires threaten town
The residents of a township in southern NSW are gathering together after a bushfire cut off their planned escape route.
About a dozen people in Tarcutta, east of Wagga Wagga, have arrived at the Tarcutta RSL and Citizens Club on Tuesday afternoon.
Most of the 300 locals are believed to still be in the area.
More are expected to arrive as club director Ngharie McCallum urges them to take shelter from the conditions.
"It is very close to the township," Ms McCallum told AAP.
"The town is full of smoke.
"It's been so hot and dry today it's like a furnace."
She said there had been plans to evacuate before residents received updated information not to flee the area.
"My daughter's just told me we can't go anywhere so we're going to stay put in the RSL club," Ms McCallum said.
"We're just sort of sitting and waiting because apparently we are surrounded by fire."
An hour earlier, the NSW Rural Fire Service said a fire at the southern side of the township could impact the area at anytime.
Residents were warned to take shelter as it was too late to flee the area.
Embers could be blown up to 4km ahead of the fire, creating spot fires that could move in different directions.
Tarcutta is located on the Hume Highway, which has been closed.
Ms McCallum said the township had not been threatened by bushfire in the 46 years she had been living there.
"They're saying there's another fire north of us so we are virtually in the middle of fire," Ms McCallum said.
"We are surrounded."
Eva Toth, who owns the Tarcutta Halfway Motor Inn, has been running between her car and office, packing items including her computer and insurance paperwork.
"The wind has now changed and now we're getting all the smoke," she told AAP.
"It's absolutely a burning scorcher.
"It's like someone put the hair dryer on your face."
She too will head to the RSL to get more information about the fire and take refuge.
"I've been packing the car, getting the last bits," Ms Toth said.
"I'm getting ready."
Her family and friends have been ringing from around the country worried as the fire approaches.
Ms Toth's husband died two months ago and she has no other family in the area.
"We're just getting scared, all of us," she said.