Fire danger ratings of 'severe and extreme' expected for Sydney

Burning properties in Rainbow Flat last nigh.Picture: Dean Sewell
Burning properties in Rainbow Flat last nigh.Picture: Dean Sewell

Residents across large parts of NSW including Sydney have been told to brace themselves for a potential repeat of "unprecedented" fire conditions on Tuesday.

The NSW Rural Fire Service issued a stark warning on Sunday ahead of "dangerous" conditions on Tuesday and urged residents to "get ready now" as the fires would not be contained in time.

"These conditions will be as bad, if not worse, than those experienced on Friday as they will be across a much broader area including large population centres like Sydney," the NSW Rural Fire Service said.

"Under these conditions, these fires will spread quickly and will threaten homes and lives."

The fire danger ratings of "severe and extreme" are expected to cover a much broader swath of NSW on Tuesday, extending from the northern parts of the state, to potentially greater Sydney and Illawarra region, to the South Coast.

Three deaths have already been confirmed in the fires and there are fears the death toll will rise.

On Sunday, fire assessment teams were tallying property damage from volatile bushfires that ripped through large chunks of NSW over two days.

Picture: Dean Sewell

Picture: Dean Sewell

While weather conditions have eased, 72 bushfires continued to burn across NSW on Sunday morning with 36 still not under control, while a further 11 fires were at watch and act levels.

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said assessment teams were bracing themselves for "considerable losses".

"There are communities and fire grounds where we are expecting to tally up considerable losses of homes and other properties," Mr Fitzsimmons said on Saturday.

"A number of our own fire stations have been destroyed."

At least 150 homes have been destroyed by the fires and a school at Glen Innes was severely damaged, although this number is likely to climb as detailed assessments begin.

Mr Fitzsimmons said other important community assets had also been lost in the fires.

"We're talking about schools being destroyed, we're talking about community halls, bridges, power poles," he said.

"All of those sorts of things - they get consumed in the path of a volatile fast-moving fire."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Gladys Berejiklian will be visiting the Fire Control Centre at Wauchope on the mid north coast this morning.