National

Emergency warning for northern NSW fire

By AAP Newswire

Conditions are expected to improve for NSW firefighters after strong winds caused "erratic" fire behaviour and saw two major blazes flare up in the state's north.

The NSW Rural Fire Service issued emergency warnings for one bushfire at Drake and another east of Glen Innes in the Brother State Forest on Monday afternoon.

The Brother State Forest blaze was ultimately downgraded in the evening.

RFS inspector Ben Shepherd said strengthening northwesterlies had caused some "quite erratic fire behaviour" on Monday, but conditions should be more favourable on Tuesday.

"The bureau has indicated there is the chance now of some thunderstorm activity - which may result in some lightning - so we will be watching that carefully," he said.

On Monday afternoon, RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said the Drake blaze was threatening properties in the Drake and Red Rock areas and they had advised residents to "prepare for fire impact".

"It's causing fire crews a lot of problems today," he told ABC News.

The 16,000ha Brother State Forest fire was given a Watch and Act alert after the threat to homes eased on Monday night, but the blaze was still burning out of control.

Several schools in the vicinity of both fires will be closed on Tuesday.

The flare-ups come after fire conditions across NSW eased on Sunday, with firefighters gaining the upper hand on a number of blazes.

But Monday's weather, including strong wind warnings up and down the NSW coast, caused fresh headaches.

Fifty-seven bush and grass fires were burning in the afternoon and about 20 were not contained.

Mr Rogers said a 92,000ha bushfire in Bees Nest near Armidale was "nowhere near contained" but was not threatening properties.

Most regions of NSW have been given a low-moderate fire danger rating on Tuesday.

However, New England and the Northern Slopes face a very high fire danger, while the North Western and Far North Coast regions have been given a high fire danger rating.