One home appears to have been destroyed and many more evacuated as dozens of bushfires take hold in hot, gusty conditions in NSW.
More than 65 fires are burning out of control across the state, with many – including a fast moving blaze in the Mount George area on the mid-north coast – breaking containment lines.
That fire was subject to an emergency warning on Saturday afternoon, with all people between Knorrit Flat and Mount George advised to seek shelter in a solid structure or travel to the township of Wingham.
Two emergency warnings are in place for Tuncurry and areas just to the north at Darawank, Corrigan and Hallidays Point due to multiple fires burning in the Forster area.
NSW RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said the Darawank fire appeared to have destroyed one home and expressed concern about a forecast southerly wind change.
"The flank of the fire will then become the main part of that fire and it'll then head towards Hallidays Point," he told ABC News.
"Firefighters are putting a lot of work trying to get containment on that fire and at least stopping it heading further north."
Mr Rogers said horrendous conditions – dry, hot and windy – had meant fires across NSW were doing extraordinary things usually reserved for summer.
#ForsterFires the wind has stirred up Mininbah again and it's now jumped to Tuncurry. Roads in out of town are closed to the north. It will be a long night for some #NSWfires pic.twitter.com/Kre88rvFNF
— 💧The Duck Queen (@Pamduckling) October 26, 2019
"It's going to get worse before it gets better," Mr Rogers said.
"These conditions are going to continue to increase until we get that change and then it's going to be some time before conditions ease once the change comes through."
Watch and act warnings are in place for seven blazes spanning from Martinsville near Lake Macquarie to Tyringham in the Clarence Valley.
Affected communities include Willi Willi and Carrai Creek near Kempsey, Kearsley near Cessnock and Cotswold near Narrabri.
Mr Rogers advised NSW to stay informed through media and the Fires Near Me app.
Those really concerned for their safety should contact triple-0, he said.
Numerous spot fires starting in and around Forster Tuncurry area. A new fire has started on the Forster headland. Firefighters and aircraft working hard in the area. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/EtGnU0OEqw
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 26, 2019
"There have already been a number of people airlifted out of fire affected areas today because they were quite concerned and they couldn't get out," Mr Rogers said.
Winds in some areas had been so strong, aircraft were not permitted to fly.
"We're getting new fires popping up all the time and unfortunately it's going to be a very long afternoon for firefighters and residents in the affected areas,” Mr Rogers said.
He was grateful for the help Victorian, South Australian and ACT firefighters had provided over the past week.
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