10 Dec 2009

NSW fire conditions worsen: 120 fires burning

1:19 pm on 10 December 2009

Firefighters are bracing for weather conditions to worsen as they work on more than 120 fires burning across New South Wales.

Nearly 2000 firefighters have been working to contain the blazes - with more than 20 new fires discovered overnight.

The fires of most concern were near Tweed Heads on the far north coast and Bathurst in the central west.

Both have now been downgraded to 'Watch and Act' and firefighters spent the night strengthening their containment lines in the cooler weather.

The Rural Fire Service says temperatures on Thursday are expected to reach 40 degrees in some parts and winds will pick up.

The ABC reports the RFS in talks with Queensland to see if any of its firefighters can help them over the weekend.

Seven total fire bans are in force across the state including in the Greater Hunter, upper central western plains, far western, south western and northern riverina.

The north western and northern slope regions have warnings of extreme fire danger.

Fatal crash

Meanwhile, the small NSW community of Dorrigo is mourning following the death of a park ranger in a helicopter crash on Wednesday.

The ABC reports the helicopter was mapping fires sparked by lightning in remote bushland.