As multiple emergency level fires descended on Batemans Bay and surrounding communities, thousands of people, many from Canberra, decided to evacuate and flooded into nearby shelters.
Further south the Badja Forest Road fire was threatening the communities of Bermagui, Regatta Point and Wallaga Lake, and people there were warned it was too late to leave.
The Kings Highway, Princes Highway, Cooma Road, Snowy Mountains Highway and Araluen Road were all closed in parts effectively cutting off the coast.
The sky in Batemans Bay had gone dark by midday on Tuesday, power had gone out in many coastal towns and the sound of blaring sirens filled the air.
There were reports that Eden had run out of fuel, Pambula was close to running out and there were massive lines in Merimbula at petrol stations.
Former Canberra resident, Kieran Pender, who lives in London and was back in the country for a holiday at his family property in Guerilla Bay, evacuated to Moruya early on Tuesday.
Mr Pender said the normally quiet town was packed, with every car spot taken, as it seemed most people between Batemans Bay and Broulee had evacuated to Moruya.
"There was a disconcerting feeling in Moruya as we watched a huge smoke plume move towards us," he said.
"The community has really come together. The local pool let people shelter here and handed out free ice creams.
"A local Thai restaurant has been giving out free meals."
Mr Pender said these gestures were heartening at a time of distress, but not enough to inspire much optimism amid the devastating fires.
Canberran Diana Streak was staying at a house in Bavarde Street, Batemans Bay when she was told to evacuate on Tuesday morning.
"I woke up and I could feel things were hot and the wind was banging," she said.
Ms Streak arrived at the evacuation centre at Hanging Rock Sports Club at Batemans Bay oval at 10:15am. She said there were few cars when she arrived but it quickly grew and the oval was full.
"People were here having picnics... making sandwiches and coffees," she said.
"More cars were arriving all the time."
Ms Streak said spot fires were occurring at the oval and the power failed at the evacuation centre at 1pm.
Many had a nervous wait on Tuesday night as reports of destroyed homes reached people.
Mr Pender, who along with his family were forced to stay in Moruya overnight, said they believed their home was ok but there was a lot of apprehension among those that had evacuated.
"There's really patchy information coming through," he said, "people don't know if their homes are safe."
"It's pretty dark and the sky is tinged with orange. It's pretty grim."
Moruya had cleared out somewhat on Tuesday night as some people had been allowed to return home to Broulee but plenty of people had set up camp in the town.
People drove into Pambula on Tuesday after Eden ran out of fuel and were waiting in queues for petrol for up to an hour.
Andrew Ferguson was holidaying in the area and was meant to be returning home on Tuesday but expected to be stuck for a while.
He's been holidaying in the area for 30 years and said he had witnessed floods in the past "but nothing like this [fire], not this bad".
"It's a little bit unnerving to see everyone in a rush. It's normally packed but not like this," Mr Ferguson said.
Kye Dewberry lives nearby at Myrtle Mountain and said his family were prepared to evacuate.
"It's smoky, you can't see 100 metres. It's pretty sad, I've never seen it like this before," he said.
- With Kimberley Le Lievre and Lucy Bladen