Residents and their animals have taken shelter from a fire at North Black Range that threatened homes on Friday night.
The fire was at watch and act level at 6.26pm on Saturday and was being controlled by the NSW Rural Fire Service, which was hoping to conduct backburning operations overnight into Sunday.
Most of the evacuees at the Bungendore Showground on Saturday morning were horse owners who had moved their animals out of harm's way.
One of them, Kate Leith, said she had seen a lot of fires, but this one "frightened the hell out of me".
About 10pm on Friday night, Ms Leith travelled to Mulloon, about 20 kilometres from her home in the Bungendore township, to evacuate her horse Milo from a property where he was out on agistment. She made two trips over the course of about two hours, also evacuating the property owners' two horses in her float.
Ms Leith described seeing "a red haze that went on forever" as she drove along a "dead quiet" Kings Highway en route to the showground.
She slept in her car at the showground overnight.
Ms Leith said they hadn't been forced to evacuate but did so as a precaution in case the wind changed and set the fire on a different path.
"[This fire] frightens the hell out of me, especially with how dry it is out there and the wind," she said.
"You just don't know with these fires. You don't know what the weather's going to do from one second to the next.
"Most properties are eaten out. The only things left to burn are the trees and the houses. I really feel for the people who live out there [closer to the fires]. It's awful."
Also at the showground on Saturday morning was a NSW Rural Fire Service rapid response team, which had earlier taken to the sky as part of firefighters' efforts to tackle the blaze.
"We started in Hume and tried to get around the bottom end of the fire to have a look at it, but ended up back here [at the Bungendore Showground] because it was too smoky and really hard to see," crew leader and Jerrabomberra Creek Rural Fire Brigade deputy captain Bruce Davies said.
Mr Davies said the team's role in the air was to try and spot smaller fires that might have ignited near the main blaze as early as possible.
They were also tasked with passing observations back to crews on the ground, and helping rescue people from the path of the fire if the situation turned nasty.
"We'll be here [at the showground] for most of the day, I imagine, until the smoke clears, and then we'll go and have another look."
The crew was grounded due to gusty winds on Saturday afternoon, but operations in the air still helped firefighters gain a valuable advantage against the blaze.
A NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman said an air tanker completed three runs throughout the day, dropping about 40 tonnes of fire retardant each time.
He said water-bombing and reconnaissance helicopters had also been airborne for 11-and-a-half hours throughout the day, helping to suppress the flames from above.