Cooma fire 'spreading by square metres by the minute'

Many residents along Mount Forest Road near Cooma have either left their homes or fled to safer ground as fire tears through nearby properties.

The volunteers on the ground can no longer keep track of how large the fire is, one saying that it was "spreading by square metres by the minute".

Local residents say the fire has been burning since Sunday, and the paddocks surrounding the battered woolshed where crews have gathered are little but blackened earth and bare trees.

Winds remain one of the biggest issues for crews, with gusts reaching 50km/h. One volunteer described driving into the fire ground as like being met with "a wall of smoke".

The call to evacuate came through at 3am, although some residents on the approximately dozen properties choose to stay and defend their homes.

The fire has been burning since Sunday, according to "Mount Forest" owner Julie Huggett.

While Mrs Huggett left for the so-called "safe house" at 28 Mount Forest Road, her husband stayed behind to try to save home.

"He's driving one of the graders, trying to put in containment lines to stop the fires," she said.

"The property's been in the family for 100 years."

Some homes could still be seen standing as of midday, but Mrs Huggett said saving her home - one of the furthest on the road - was "up to the mercy of the gods".

Neighbour Lorraine Galvin said she also feared for her home, despite having been deemed as relatively safe.

"It could still jump and come this way," she said.

"You just don't know."

Volunteer Mark Shubert has been on the ground for two days, battling the fire as it inches closer to his property "Deep Water".

"There's a good chance it will [reach my property] but it will depend on the wind," he said.

Despite owning the property for almost three decades, Mr Shubert said he'd stay with the CSS rather than leave to defend his property.

"What can you do? You've got to pitch in," he said.

Source - Canberra Times

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