NSW fires burn amid drought conditions


Insp Shepherd said properties between Tindal and Eldon Rds on the eastern side of the Gwydir Hwy could be under threat, with ground crews still assessing the threat on the northern side of the road.

More than 80 fires continue to burn along the Great Dividing Range from the Queensland border to Victoria with more than 30 still uncontained.

"All this is about is low humidity, dry fuel and strong winds".

Efforts were focussed instead on fires burning on the state's north coast.

A Watch and Act warning has also been issued for a fast-moving grass fire near Jerrara, west of Kiama.

"The fire is burning in hard terrain, which is making conditions unsafe for firefighters and residents".

NSW Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said the fires are a wake-up call for residents in fire-prone areas.

More than 500 firefighters worked overnight to control dozens of fires across NSW after gusty winds on Wednesday caused a number of fires to burn out of control, threatening and damaging properties on the state's south coast at Nowra, Ulladulla and Bemboka.

Most of the large firefighting aircraft don't typically arrive in Australia until after September, and demand for their services is likely to remain high in Europe and North America amid record summer heat in many regions.

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One home was confirmed damaged in the North Nowra blaze.

Residents near the fire were seen covering their faces in a bid to escape the smoke that were rising above their homes.

In the north, winds of up to 65km/h and temperatures in the mid to high 20s are making conditions similar to what firefighters faced in the south of the state on Wednesday. We'll be doing as much as we can before those winds increase on Saturday, ' he said. It's worrying, it's mind-bending, ' environmental change academic David Bowman said on Wednesday.

Firefighters are working to slow the bushfire's spread and establish containment lines, according to the RFS.

"In my time I don't recall quite as many fires and the length and breadth of the fires", he said.

"Cash-strapped local governments not mitigating risk can create a real problem", he said.

Mr Fitzsimmons said the drought was having an enormous impact.

"It had been burning for a few days, but we weren't concerned at all", he said.

"It is a really early start to these severe fires, and it's only really been three months since the last serious fire we had, which was in April".