There are now three emergency warnings in place for bushfires burning in New South Wales, the highest rating possible.
The fire at Springwood in the Blue Mountains has been upgraded from watch-and-act, and a new fire has closed both lanes of the M1 at Minmi, near Newcastle.
Another fire at Gateshead near Lake Macquarie has also been upgraded.
Crews had the situation in the mountains under control through Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons had warned weather conditions could lead to sudden changes.
Temperatures have been above 30 degrees and strong winds have seen gusts of more than 80 kilometres an hour. The fire at Springwood has been upgraded due to fears of an ember attack.
The Rural Fire Service has also said the winds are limiting the use of aircraft to fight the fires in the Blue Mountains.
“As the conditions are warming up, we are seeing an increase in fire activity,” Fitzsimmons said in a 2pm briefing.
“We are also seeing a number of new fires starting right across the fire-affected areas.”
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