This is an update of the situation.
I'm about 250 miles south-west of the northern fires and 100 miles west of the southern fires and we are getting the smell (stink) and the smoke haze; a miserable complaint compared to what those in the thick of it are going through.
I truly hope that the one bastard who has been arrested for starting at least one of the fires, and anyone else found responsible, is strung up by their genitallia and have extremely horrible things done to the rest of their bodies.
41 homes feared lost in NSW fires
December 8 2002
At least 41 homes are now feared lost during four days of raging bushfires as NSW firefighters brace for horror weather a day earlier than expected.
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) said today 4,500 firefighters had no hope of mopping up more than 80 fires burning throughout the state before winds picked up tomorrow and temperatures rose.
Humidity was also expected to drop to less than 15 per cent tomorrow.
NSW Premier Bob Carr, touring fire-affected areas in Sydney's south today, said arsonists' "acts of bastardry" during one of Australia's worst-ever droughts had endangered lives and destroyed property.
While no homes have been lost during the past 24 hours, the RFS was today forced to double its estimate of the number of houses destroyed as firefighters made their way into previously inaccessible regions.
At least 36 homes were incinerated by a massive blaze stretching from Cattai, in Sydney's north-west, right through to Brooklyn, in the north, the RFS said.
That blaze today cut the major roads linking Sydney and Newcastle for the third day running, and rail services on the northern line were not expected to be restored until at least Monday, CityRail said.
Since the fires started on Wednesday, the NSW Department of Community Services (DOCS) has operated 17 evacuation centres and received aid requests from more than 2,000 people, many of them stranded commuters.
Firefighters were working hard in preparation for tomorrow's predicted high temperatures and a troublesome wind change, RFS chief Phil Koperberg said today.
"All of the incident controllers are very conscious of the fact that they don't have a lot of time to consolidate their efforts of the last 72 hours," Mr Koperberg told Sky News.
"Northerly winds (are) being predicted for tomorrow and temperatures, at least around Sydney, in the low to mid-30s and very, very low humidity are going to be very troublesome.
"The emphasis is going to be on containing as much of the southern sides of the 80 or so fires we've got around the state before the onset of less-than-helpful conditions tomorrow."
The main concern today remained to the north of Sydney, where a fire continued its run down the face of an escarpment behind homes in the township of Brooklyn.
Waterbombing helitankers and more than 200 firefighters from the RFS, NSW Fire Brigades and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) were battling the blaze that had already blackened 35,000 hectares of land.
Mr Koperberg told Sky News defensive firefighting work continued in the Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven areas of the NSW south coast.
In the Sutherland Shire, where three homes have been destroyed, good progress had been made toward containing fires around Illawong and Menai, he said.
"The position there is to the point where the fires are about 70 per cent contained but not quite there yet."
In the Blue Mountains, where at least one home was destroyed earlier this week, firefighters used today's milder conditions to continue backburning operations between north Katoomba and Wentworth Falls after a blaze that began at the Shipley Plateau on Wednesday was brought under control.
Further north, in the Hunter Valley, where at least one home was razed, there were many fires still burning and it was unlikely they would be contained within the short-term, Mr Koperberg said.
There was likely to be relief mid-Monday, with the Bureau of Meteorology downgrading it's earlier predictions of blistering temperatures and strong winds.