Sydney in darkness as NSW fires burn

AAP reporters
Sixty bushfires still burning in NSW have generated more smoke haze for Sydney

Smoke haze and thunderstorm clouds have combined to block the setting sun and plunge Sydney's CBD into darkness as 60 fires continue to burn in NSW.

Greater Sydney was at "high" fire danger on Friday as it grappled with heavy smoke blanketing the city from the nearby Gospers Mountain fire in the Hawkesbury, which has burned more than 185,000 hectares.

The city was eerily dark by 5pm ahead of forecast thunderstorms which were travelling towards the coast from western Sydney.

Storm clouds mixed with lingering smoke that had settled over Sydney to reduce light from the setting sun, a Bureau of Meteorology spokesman told AAP.

An emergency alert was issued on Friday afternoon for a fire at Bora Ridge near Evans Head. However by Friday evening the blaze had been downgraded to a "watch and act" level.

A total of 60 fires were burning around NSW at 6pm on Friday, with 27 uncontained.

The Rural Fire Service posted on Twitter on Friday evening there was "lots of lightning around" so the agency would be "up early looking for new fires".

While there are no total fire bans in place for Saturday, nine regions - including the ACT - were at a "very high" fire danger.

NSW air quality indexes on Friday evening deemed almost all of Sydney's northwest and southwest regions as between "very poor" and "hazardous" for air pollution.

The Lower and Upper Hunter regions also endured air pollution levels between "very poor" and "hazardous", while Port Macquarie's air pollution was rated "hazardous". Meanwhile, air quality in much of Sydney's east was deemed between "poor" and "very poor".

"Once again over the weekend, because of northeasterly winds, we could actually see that smoke come in again," RFS spokesperson Ben Shepherd told the Seven Network on Friday morning.

"Until such time that we get a big clearing event, we're going to have this smoke settling over Sydney each and every morning."

The RFS announced on Thursday that 612 homes had so far been lost in the state's bushfires, including 530 in the past fortnight.

The fires have also claimed six lives this bushfire season.

People travelling towards the state's north have been warned on Friday afternoon of significant road closures due to bushfires.

The Pacific Highway remains closed between Woodburn and Woombah due to the Bora Ridge blaze, and the Summerland Way also remains closed between Casino and Grafton, NSW Police said in a statement.

Drivers were urged to delay all non-essential travel to the area.

With thousands of school leavers set to travel to schoolies events in Byron Bay and southern Queensland, police urged drivers to plan their trip, drive to conditions and be aware of road closures.

The NSW government has announced bushfire victims who have lost important identity documents can have them replaced for free.

Those needing a new driver's licence could obtain an interim licence on the spot.

"Anyone who has lost paperwork such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate can apply to have them replaced at no cost as a priority," NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said in a statement.