A BENDIGO deputy principal is at an evacuation centre in NSW as he and his family flee the state's bushfires.
Bendigo Senior Secondary College deputy principal Mark Lau and his family travelled up to the Twofold Bay Caravan Park on Monday.
They were one of the many families who were told on New Year's Eve to evacuate to the town of Eden on the south-east coastline of NSW.
"There were thousands of people," he said. "My family is fine. Everyone seems fine. The SES have been helping with food. The smoke haze was very, very heavy but even that has cleared a bit."
An 80-hectare out of control bushfire is still burning in Wyndham, less than an hour away from Eden.
A 3000-hectare fire is also out of control in the Werri Berri area, with embers starting spot fires at the fire front. That fire is only about one hour north of where Mr Lau and his family are in Eden.
Mr Lau said the evacuation site was "chock-a-block" with tourists. He said the large crowds were making it difficult to keep track of the situation.
"It's hard to know what is reality and what's not," he said. "We were told the fire was an hour away.
"We're getting lots of mixed messages so it's hard to know. There are lots of people panicking."
Mr Lau said the family chose to go to NSW this week because they have been holidaying at the caravan park for the past 25 years.
"It's my summer escape," he said. "This has been a pretty depressing start to our holidays but this could happen anywhere. In hindsight, we know we probably shouldn't have come."
Mr Lau said the NSW Royal Fire Service was encouraging families to leave the area before conditions worsened at the weekend.
South-east NSW is expected to surpass 40 degrees on Saturday. NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has forecast widespread severe fire danger ratings across the state.
"We can leave through Canberra at the moment," Mr Lau said. "We've been told to leave before Friday and if we have enough fuel, we will leave then."
Mr Lau said Eden's fuel supplies ran out on Wednesday afternoon.
He said the family were hoping to fuel up the car and leave NSW on Thursday.
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