When the wind changed direction it put Potoroo Palace Wildlife Sanctuary at Yellowpinch in the direct path of the fire.
At 2.30pm owner Alexandra Seddon and staff swung into action aware of the imminent danger.
They identified animals most at risk that would require evacuation, and ensured the sprinkler system for the animal enclosures was activated.
Among the animals evacuated were seven dingos, two koalas, two parrots, two echidnas, three possums, an elderly parrot called Mr Superb, a Cape Barren goose, a number of ducks and the goldfish.
The animals were taken to the evacuation centre in the underground carpark at Club Sapphire before being billeted out to caring residents.
The koalas went to a community farm in Candelo, the goldfish to Tura, the possums to Wyndham, the goose and ducks, Merimbula (see separate story ‘Ducked out of harm’s way’), the dingoes to the veterinarian clinic in Bega and the echidnas spent the night with Alexandra.
She said that getting the animals out and trying to ensure the safety of those left behind was an “an incredible ordeal”.
The Rural Fire Service allowed her back at 7.30pm on Friday evening so she could check the welfare of the animals.
She was relieved to find they were all in fine form - the flying foxes, the Shellbacks, kangaroos, potoroos and the cockatoo was calling out to her.
The fire reached the border of the sanctuary property and incinerated one of its sheds at the rear.
Alexandra was overawed by the efforts of the fire fighters.
“They did an incredible job in protecting the property and the animals.” She said while she was there, fires were spotting in the front of the sanctuary and flames were crowning the trees.
“I can’t believe what the fire brigades did. I am so grateful to all the people who helped us through this very worrying time.
The koalas were the first animals back home. They were escorted into the sanctuary on Saturday morning.