| 27.10,19. 03:05 AM |
Residents told it's too late to leave as homes lost in NSW fires
Photo: The RFS warned that spot fires from embers could threaten properties. (Supplied: Facebook)
Residents in northern NSW have been told it is too late to evacuate their homes as bushfires burn at emergency level in the region.
At least two homes have been destroyed near the town of Darawank on the NSW north coast as firefighters battle dozens of uncontained fires across the state.
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) had cancelled emergency warnings for three blazes on the NSW north coast, but has since reinstated the emergency warning for the blaze in Darawank, near Forster.
The RFS said with a southerly change, the fire was burning in a northerly direction towards Hallidays Point, Corrigan and Black Head.
The service is advising residents that embers may blow ahead of the main blazes and start spot fires.
Blazes at Tuncurry and Mount George have been downgraded to watch and act after burning more than 2,000 hectares.
The RFS says a fire has crossed the river and is burning on the western side of Tuncurry.
The fire at Tuncurry has burnt for more than a week, with strong winds fanning the flames.
High temperatures and strong winds had resulted in high fire danger across the state.
At 10:00pm AEDT there were 90 bush and grass fires burning across NSW, with 42 uncontained.
RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said Hallidays Point was also at significant risk, so crews worked quickly on blazes that had been "causing a lot of problems".
Embers ahead of the main fire front had threatened properties in built-up areas like Tuncurry and Forster.
Big smoke plume over home
Deputy Commissioner Rogers said people had been airlifted out of affected areas and described the conditions as "horrendous".
A fire around Minimbah Road to the west of Tuncurry, which has been burning for weeks flared up this afternoon, prompting its elevation to emergency level.
Properties around South Street, Tuncurry were under threat from the blaze, and residents had been warned to seek shelter.
An emergency level warning for a fire burning near Mount George, west of Taree, was reduced to watch and act level.
The RFS said the threat to homes on Knodingbul Forest Road had eased but residents in the area should continue to monitor conditions.
The fire around the area of Knorrit Flat has been burning for more than a week but broke containment lines under strong gusts.
Other areas of concern included Tyringham north-west of Dorrigo, in the Mount Kaptur National Park east of Narrabri, the Willi Willi National Park and Carrai Creek National Park, both west of Kempsey and in Martinsville near Lake Macquarie.
Deputy Commissioner Rogers said crews were tired and limited by the lack of water in drought-ravaged areas.
"Some of these fires … we have been dealing with them for the last two months now," he said.
"It will get worse before it gets better."
RFS spokesperson Anthony Clark said conditions are expected to ease slightly on Sunday, so today is a "race against the clock".
He reminded people to report any fires to triple zero immediately.