Cost of NSW fires soars

Bushfires caused $1 million in stock losses in NSW before the heatwave threat spread north and brought a temporary easing of furnace conditions.

Cost of NSW fires soars

Cost of NSW fires soars

Authorities breathed a sigh of relief as the gravest day of fire threat in the state's history passed on Tuesday with no one killed or injured, and just one house lost - near Cooma in the Kybeyan Valley in southern NSW.

But 135 fires remained alight on Wednesday, 30 of them uncontained, after burning through a total area of 345,000 hectares.

On Wednesday evening, 30 fires continued to burn uncontained, with NSW Rural Fire Service crews focusing on a fire with a 44km perimeter at Dean's Gap near Nowra, a 16,000 hectare scrub fire near Yass and a 9000-hectare blaze in the Kybeyan Valley, near Cooma.

More than 151 firefighters and 27 trucks are working to contain the Dean's Gap fire burning to the south of Sussex Inlet Road, near Shoalhaven, which is a potential threat to the village of Sussex Inlet and the township of Wandandian.

Meanwhile, police are investigating a fire near Lithgow which has destroyed about 40,000 hectares, which may have been deliberately lit.

So far, five people - including three teenagers - have been charged in relation to starting fires across the state.

One, a 76-year-old man, is alleged to have started a bushfire after using his angle grinder near Mudgee.

Cooler weather in southern NSW helped an estimated 2000 firefighters stay on top of a volatile situation on Wednesday, but authorities are gearing up for a busy weekend, with sweltering conditions forecast to return on Friday.

The cool reprieve was expected to be short-lived, with temperatures forecast to climb back over 40 degrees on Friday.

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said authorities were braced for more dangerous conditions over the weekend.

"We're looking at deteriorating weather on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So the temperatures will be elevated again," he told reporters in Sydney.

"We're going to go into another hot spell and we're looking at potentially three days of that."

The bushfire threat made its way towards northern NSW on Wednesday, but Mr Rogers said authorities were pleased that conditions had not deteriorated as feared.

"We've had the high temperatures in the north of state, but we simply have not had the fire activity that we got in the southern part of the state yesterday."

Premier Barry O'Farrell said the fact that Tuesday had passed without loss of life or homes was a "remarkable tribute" to the planning of the RFS and other emergency services.

He said an estimated 10,000 sheep had been lost in the Yass shire alone, equivalent to $1 million of losses to farmers.

NSW had learned from the devastating 2009 Victorian fires, Mr O'Farrell said on a tour of the Yass shire.

"Whether it's the neighbourhood safety places, the early warnings, the bushfire survival plans and the clarity around whether to come and whether to go, we have learned those lessons," he said.

As three teenage boys charged with deliberately lighting a fire in Sydney's west were released on bail, Mr O'Farrell backed a suggestion from Yass Shire mayor Rowena Abbey that firebugs should be made to face the terrible consequences of fires.

Ms Abbey said arsonists should be made to help put down animals injured in fires they lit.

Mr O'Farrell said he was angry and expressing "community frustration" that the three teenagers were released immediately.

"I still think that keeping them in overnight, for two nights, might have helped sink the message in," he said.

NSW residents in 37 communities fire-affected communities will be able to access emergency natural disaster assistance.

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