NSW fire leaves town 'burning like a BBQ'

Luke Costin

Wytaliba is "burning like a BBQ" after a devastating bushfire descended on the northern NSW town, claiming the lives of two people.

On Sunday afternoon the out-of-control fire, which has burnt through more than 12,450 hectares, was rated at watch and act.

Wytaliba farmer and school teacher Katie Roffington was stuck at a roadblock outside town on Sunday afternoon waiting for a safe passage to check on her cattle.

She said feed and kilometres of fencing had been destroyed on her 4000-hectare property but fortunately her family hadn't endured the loss of life or their home.

"We've been sitting on this corner ... it's just madness here," she told AAP on Sunday.

"There's a little public school that's been burnt out, a lot of homes of people who live outside the community and there's a beautiful camping ground that's been wiped out."

She said falling timber was the biggest threat at the moment and the drought had helped the fire run along the banks of the Mann River.

"It's just rock, and the timber is falling over it and burning like a BBQ," she said.

Three people have died in the unprecedented bushfires burning in NSW.

Wytaliba resident Vivian Chaplain has been named as one of the victims.

Ms Chaplain was treated for burns before being transferred to a Sydney hospital where she later died, the Rural Fire Service NSW said on Saturday.

Friends have posted emotional tributes on social media.

"I am so sorry for your loss ... Vivian was such a beautiful person," Laura Hayden wrote on Facebook.

"Many condolences to all at Wytaliba, each and everyone is in our hearts," wrote Nola Mae.

It has been reported the second victim of Friday's firestorm, who was found in a burnt car near Glen Innes, is George Nole.

Those who knew Mr Nole, an elderly man from Wytaliba, took to Facebook to pay tribute to him.

"He was such a gentlemen. Will be missed by many," Crystal Grob posted.

RFS member Peter Chaffey, who has command of Wytaliba area, said it was likely the community wouldn't be allowed down the steep, winding, 12-kilometre road to the town, until Monday morning.

"The whole hill has been impacted by fire and every time we go down there, we have to clear the road," he told AAP.

"It is a crime scene down there and we have to let the police do their thing."

Mr Chaffey said a press photographer in the town early on Sunday morning focused on the car Mr Nole died in - an act that had "stirred up the community to no end".

"We've got a really sensitive community," he said.

"I know the world wants to see the pictures.

"But I was speaking to a woman who said 'I haven't been able to get in there, I had dogs chained up and other pets. I know they're deceased.'

"She needs to go in and deal with that - not see it (first) on the news."

More than $14,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe launched to help the Wytaliba community recover.

Cerene Lowe created the fundraiser on Saturday, and by Sunday afternoon it had raised $14,045.

"My birth place, my family home, the primary school and 80 per cent our community homes were destroyed," Ms Lowe wrote.

"Many people have lost everything except the clothes on their back. The bridge to enter was destroyed as well. The fire is still ravaging the area and the full extent of the damage is not yet known."

"These are my family and friends. The money raised will go to the community to help rebuild and start again."

The funds will go towards tents, beds, water, infrastructure, repairing the local cemetery, generators and fuel, and funeral costs for those who died following the fires, Ms Lowe said.

"We're hoping to raise $50,000 but we will need so much more to rebuild our community," she told the ABC on Sunday.

"The community, we've come together as a family...we're a strong community that will stick together through all of this."

Prisoners who were evacuated from the Glen Innes Correctional Centre will stay at Grafton Correctional Centre until further notice, a Corrective Services NSW spokeswoman said in a statement on Sunday.