Firefighters are expecting some challenging hours ahead as gusty winds on Monday night and throughout Tuesday hinder their efforts to bring the Currowan fire north of Batemans Bay under control.
NSW Rural Fire service officer Marty Webster said firefighters on the ground were experiencing "erratic fire behaviour" particularly on the eastern edge of the blaze.
The fire has burned more than 16,000 hectares and is heading in a north-easterly direction towards the Turmeil area.
Mr Webster said a combination of gusty winds, dry air and dry fuel and extremely difficult country to work in was making matters worse for firefighters.
"We've got a few challenging hours coming up with ongoing gusty winds," Mr Webster said.
"They may ease slightly overnight but tomorrow is not looking hugely different to today."
He said the fire was making its way out of the forest and into more open country as it headed towards the coast.
Firefighters' main objectives would continue to be protecting life and property in the area, he said.
There had been no confirmed loss of property and no injuries on Monday afternoon.
Crews would continue directly attacking the fire wherever possible while also strengthening containment lines.
More than 20 heavy machinery were involved in constructing containment lines around the fire and eight aircraft were water bombing the area.
It is possible for aircraft to pick up water from the ocean, Mr Webster said, but the overwhelming preference was to use calmer bodies of water.
About 150 crew from the RFS, NSW Fire and Rescue, National Parks and NSW Forrestry were fighting the fire with more than 40 fire trucks.
Mr Webster called on the community to cooperate with firefighters and police, acknowledging their work could be disruptive but they had the community's welfare at heart.
"If you don't need to be in the area between Ulladulla and Batemans Bay please consider if you should be there," Mr Webster said.
The Princes Highway remained closed between Turmeil and the Kings Highway turnoff.
The areas between Turmeil and East Lynne along with Bawley Point, North Durras, Kioloa, Depot Beach, Pebbly Beach and Pretty Beach have been advised it is too late to leave and need to seek shelter.