Update 7.15pm: Returned to watch and act, with the RFS saying fire activity is easing. Monitor NSW RFS website, the Fires Near Me app, and local radio stations for ongoing updates to the fire situation.
Update 6.45pm: Alert back to emergency level.
Fire continues to burn in an easterly direction towards Talbingo. There are reports of spot fires starting ahead of the main fire front.
If you are in the area of Talbingo, fire activity is increasing. Monitor conditions. Be alert for embers and spot fires.
An emergency alert in place for Talbingo has been lifted to watch and act.
The Snowy Mountains Highway, from Tumut to Adaminaby, was closed earlier this afternoon.
Talbingo resident Bob Erskine said the town had been cloaked in smoke haze for much of the day.
“Visibility is probably a couple of hundred metres,” Mr Erskine said.
“There’s just a grey haze.
“There’s not a lot of action that I can see aside from that, but then, you can’t see far.”
In issuing the emergency alert, the Riverina RFS said Dunns Road fire is burning to the west of Talbingo in the Buddong Area, and the town was being attacked by ember.
The advice to residents was to seek shelter as the fire approaches, as it was to late to leave.
In changing the alert to watch and act, the RFS encouraged oeople to monitor conditions. Be alert for embers and spot fires.
Riverina Highlands RFS said aircraft had managed to calm the fire down. Smoke and ash are still likley in the Talbingo area for the next few hours
RFS Crews remain in Talbingo to assist with new outbreaks of fire as a result of any ember attack.
Firefighters around Batlow, Greenhills State Forest and Yaven Creek, meanwhile, dealt with increased fire activity as the smoke lifted in those areas.
Batlow residents were also urged to be alert.
RFS Riverina Highlands’ Peter Jones earlier told local radio Sounds of the Mountains that the fire activity had increased as smoke lifted this afternoon.
“The smoke cover was suppressing fire of oxygen,” Mr Jones said. “Once it lifted, the fire activity started to jump.”