20 homes lost as bushfire ravages in NSW village

As many as 20 properties have been lost in an out-of-control bushfire in the northern NSW village of Rappville, one of two emergency warning fires blazing through the region.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said a number of homes in the village of about 250 people have been destroyed.

"I've lost the bloody sheds, the house, lost everything," Rappville resident Danny Smith told reporters on the scene.

"We might have saved the second place but everything else has gone."

The RFS said the fire was very dangerous and spreading quickly.

Four emergency warnings were issued for fires on Tuesday, but by 8.30pm (local time) two were left ravaging the area at Busbys Flat and Drake.

Up to 20 properties have been destroyed in Rappville, in northern NSW. Source: NBN News

Residents around the Busbys Flat fire, which included Rappville – south of Casino, were told it's too late to leave as the fire bore down on them on Tuesday afternoon.

NSW Police are asking people not to return to their homes in fire-affected areas on Tuesday evening as it was unsafe to do so.

An evacuation centre has been set up at St Mary's Catholic College in Casino for those who were forced to flee.

Firefighters trying to stop the blaze are battling strong winds and hot conditions, which are expected to continue for several hours.

The strong winds are blowing embers ahead of the firefront, creating spot fires that are threatening properties before the main firefront arrives.

Earlier in the day RFS spokesman Greg Allan said the challenging conditions were not tipped to ease until later in the week.

Residents in the area have been told it's too late to evacuate. Source: ABC

"We're probably not going to see any reprieve until tomorrow," he told AAP.

"We've been seeing very strong westerly winds pushing that fire towards the east, still very high temperatures and very low humidity."

Emergency warnings have also been issued for three other bushfires burning in northern NSW.

The out-of-control blazes at Kildare Road at Tenterfield and Long Gully Road at Drake triggered emergency warnings on Tuesday afternoon.

The Tenterfield blaze has since been contained, with crews to remain on the scene overnight to work to contain the fire.

The fire burning in the Drake area is currently more than 72,160 hectares in size, has crossed over the Clarence River and is continuing to burn in an easterly direction.

Firefighters are having issues putting the fires out due to strong winds. Source: ABC

"Residents in the areas of Ridge Road, North Ewingar Road, Grandview Road, Hunters Road, Valley View Road and Peckhams Road should take shelter as the fire approaches," the RFS said.

Amid sweltering heat on Tuesday total fire bans were enacted in the far north coast, north coast, New England and northern slopes areas.

Despite a cooler weather forecast from midweek with temperatures expected to drop to the mid-20s, continued dry conditions meant fire dangers would not immediately fall away.

Fires rage in Queensland

A massive fire bearing down on Laidley in Queensland's Lockyer Valley is believed to have claimed at least one house.

Laidley residents were warned to seek shelter on Tuesday afternoon after a fire started in dangerous conditions and raged toward the town in a northeasterly direction.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Service said it was too dangerous to leave the town, 80 kilometres west of Brisbane.

The ABC is reporting at least one house has been lost with pictures of the damage.

– With AAP

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