Homes have been lost and evacuations begun as wildfires rage west of Sydney.
The situation worsened this afternoon.
At one stage, more than 250 firefighters were battling one of the worst outbreaks in the Blue Mountains.
Seventy Eight fires continue to burn throughout the state and Newcastle airport has been closed.
Ilana Morgan reports.
Attempts to water bomb the bushfires at Lithgow have so far failed.
Winds of up to 90 kilometers are hindering efforts and possibly carrying embers up to six kilometers away.
Warnings have been issued to local residents over the dangers of the fire and evacuations are now underway.
Deputy Fire Commissioner Rob Rodgers: “We have three separate fires that are burning in the Blue Mountains as well as another fire in the Currajong Heights so the situation is very serious in that whole area.”
So far the fire has burned more than 600 hectares of bushland… and destroyed homes and businesses.
VOX 1 firefighter: “the most intense fire I have ever seen for a long time.”
VOX 2: “This is going to turn into a very tough afternoon not just for fire fighters but I believe many communities.”
Newcastle airport is closed and the Blue Mountain train line has been suspended.
New South Wales is under a fire total ban, with temperatures reaching 34 degrees celsius today.
Thirty-one of the 78 fires burning across the state are currently uncontained.
A southerly wind change late this afternoon will bring further complications to the fire ravaged state.
Ilana Morgan, QUT News.