Firefighters in NSW have spent the night backburning in a bid to protect properties as the danger rating once again hits severe for parts of the state.
More than 50 fires continued to burn on Sunday, with almost 30 of those uncontained, the Rural Fire Service said.
Fire danger ratings are severe in the far north coast, New England, the northern slopes and northwestern regions, and very high in the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Central Ranges and North Coast regions.
RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said crews at the sprawling Gospers Mountain blaze on Sydney’s northwestern outskirts had been burning around homes to protect them from the continuing blaze.
“It’s not directly affecting properties right now but we’ve been doing a lot of burning around homes,” he told ABC News.
“We are concerned about the potential for that fire when worsening weather occurs on Tuesday.”
The fire remained at a watch and act level on Sunday morning, alongside the Woodenbong fire near the Queensland border and the Bora Ridge fire southeast of Casino.
Rogers reiterated the warning that there is no end in sight for bushfires which have hit hard and early this season.
“I think it’s fair to stay that there’s going to be a long time spent dealing with these fires and it’s not going to be over quickly unless we of course get a lot of rain,” he said.
Tuesday is expected to see temperatures nearing 40 degrees Celcius in the Hunter region, with the mid north coast getting into the high 30s and the northern tablelands experiencing the low 30s – all amid continued dry conditions.
Exhausted firefighters, especially those in the state’s north who have been fighting fires for weeks, will be bolstered by crews from the south and west of NSW, as well as interstate crews and help from New Zealand, Rogers said.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott are due to visit bushfire-affected communities in the north of the state on Sunday where it is expected an announcement about new funding for recovery support for residents and local councils will be made.
Total fire bans are in place for five NSW regions on Sunday—the Greater Hunter, far north coast, New England, northern and north western slopes.
The RFS has said 303 homes had been confirmed razed since Nov. 8.
More than 100 homes have been damaged while 785 sheds and other outbuildings have been damaged or destroyed.
Nearly 40 schools and other facilities have been impacted.
By Aine Fox