Firefighters across NSW remain on edge as several bushfires burn out of control but the immediate threat has eased for some townships near a significant blaze in the state's north.
The fire has burned more than 7300 hectares in the Yuraygir National Park and Shark Creek area, and there are concerns a southerly change due early on Tuesday could push the fire towards Yamba on the coast.
The fire was affecting the southern side of Angourie and Wooloweyah villages on Monday night, the RFS said in an update to residents.
However, the immediate threat to the Gulmarrad and Yamba areas had eased and firefighters were working to protect homes.
Firefighters spent the weekend battling dozens of intense north NSW blazes, with watch and act alerts remaining in place for the Shark Creek fire, a fire at Drake near Tenterfield and another at Bees Nest near Armidale.
"These fires are starting very easily. They're spreading very, very quickly," RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told Nine News.
The Bees Nest fire has razed more than 65,000 hectares - twice the size of the Sydney city council area and is likely to take weeks to contain, RFS said in a tweet.
The fire at Drake has burnt almost 33,000 hectares.
More than 630 firefighters were deployed to fight 60-plus fires burning across the state on Monday afternoon, with 28 of them uncontained,
The RFS confirmed four homes had been destroyed in Drake, along with one Tenterfield home. A Lidsdale home and four Tenterfield homes were damaged, while 22 outbuildings, two car yards and a pistol club were razed in total.
"Unfortunately, we think that the property loss will climb from what we understand lost so far, but it will take some time until crews can get in there and tally those costs," RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers told ABC TV on Monday.
Armidale, Clarence Valley, Glen Innes, Inverell, Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha local government areas have been declared natural disaster zones, allowing residents to access state and federal financial support.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison thanked firefighters in parliament on Monday and predicted a hot and dry summer ahead in NSW and Queensland.
He encouraged those requiring support to contact authorities.
"Southern Queensland and northeastern NSW have experienced unprecedented fires since Friday," Mr Morrison said.
"Fortunately no lives were lost."
The Insurance Council has declared a catastrophe for bushfires that have destroyed homes or property in the state's north, giving priority to claims from affected policyholders.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a high fire ranger rating for several regions on Tuesday including the Far North Coast, North Coast, New England, Central Ranges and Greater Hunter, while the risk will be very high in the Northern Slopes region.
Australian Associated Press