Severe fire danger for NSW, Sydney smoky

Around 50 bushfires are burning in NSW, 20 of them uncontrolled, as thick smoke descends on Sydney.
Around 50 bushfires are burning in NSW, 20 of them uncontrolled, as thick smoke descends on Sydney.

Firefighters in NSW face another difficult day with high temperatures and strong winds resulting in severe fire danger across much of the state.

A thick haze has also blanketed Sydney on Thursday morning as a northeasterly breeze dragged smoke down towards the city.

Some 50 bushfires are still burning in NSW, 20 of which are uncontained, and all are at advice level. More than 1000 firefighters remain in the field.

There are 12 total fire bans in place across the state.

A severe fire danger rating is in place for 10 areas, including Illawarra-Shoalhaven. The entirety of the state's south is under "very high" or "severe" fire danger as hot winds blow in from South Australia.

"Another difficult day for firefighters, for people in these at-risk areas," Rural Fire Service NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told the Seven Network.

But, after a fortnight of serious fires, he is hopeful conditions will improve in the coming days.

"Hopefully once we turn the corner on today there'll be an easing of conditions more broadly across the state," he said.

Winds of up to 60km/h are forecast across the southern border region which could present challenges if there are new fires, Mr Fitzsimmons said.

It is hoped northeasterly winds along the coast will help stop fires spreading and support firefighters in their bid to protect properties through backburning, which will continue on Thursday.

The RFS said dry lightning, something which could spark fires, is forecast for southwestern areas of the state with a southerly change on Thursday evening.

Six lives and 577 homes have been lost to date this fire season, the RFS have declared, with more than 420 homes lost in the past fortnight.

NSW Police, meanwhile, told reporters on Wednesday that legal action had been taken against 54 people since August for bushfire-related offences.

Australian Associated Press