'Seek shelter': Fire in NSW doubles in size as blaze closes in on tourist icon

A raging fire continues to burn just several kilometres from the Blue Mountains’ iconic Three Sisters as NSW prepares itself for difficult conditions on Monday with over 100 fires still burning across the state.

Alarming photos uploaded to Twitter show the fire at Ruined Castle in the Blue Mountains on Sunday night with the Three Sisters at Katoomba lit up in the foreground.

As of 11am on Monday, the fire was at ‘Watch and Act’ level and deemed out of control.

There was also extreme concern further south as a bushfire continued to burn in the NSW south coast Shoalhaven region.

The fire at Ruined Castle was easily visible from Katoomba. Source: Twitter/ Josh McKinnon
The fire at Ruined Castle was easily visible from Katoomba. Source: Twitter/ Josh McKinnon

According to the Rural Fire Service, it has almost doubled in size after being whipped up by westerly winds overnight, prompting an emergency warning.

The fire north of Batemans Bay has burnt through more than 11,560 hectares and is quickly spreading east.

The Princes Highway has been closed between Termeil and the Kings Highway turn off, cutting access to coastal communities in the area.

The Rural Fire Service NSW has warned those living in areas between Kioloa and North Durras, including Depot Beach, Pebbly Beach, Pretty Beach and Bawley Point, that it's too late to leave.

The fire is spreading quickly in an easterly direction and has spotted across the Princes Highway into the Murramarang National Park

"Fire activity increased over the evening due to strong westerly winds," the RFS said in an emergency warning.

"Firefighters are working in the area to protect properties where possible.

"Seek shelter as the fire impacts. It is too late to leave."

Pictured is two firefighters battling an intense fire at the roadside in Shoalhaven (left). Pictured is embers flying in the night's sky with emergency vehicles in the distance (right).
Firefighters battle the blaze ripping through Shoalhaven bushland. Source: Austinmer Rural Fire Service

Two million hectares of land have been burnt since July in more than 7000 fires which have raged across the state in the "most challenging bushfire season ever".

Six people have died while 673 homes and 1400 other buildings have been destroyed.

Dry and windy conditions to hamper firefighters’ battle

A total fire ban has been issued for Monday across the far north coast, Greater Hunter and New England regions due to forecast hot and windy conditions.

"While it's expected to be cooler tomorrow, it's going to be very windy in many areas," the RFS tweeted.

"This will present challenging conditions for several days with so many fires."

Air quality in southwest Sydney, meanwhile, has been declared hazardous.

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