As more than 600 firefighters battle 48 blazes across New South Wales, authorities are pleading with the public to stop taking selfies in front of the flames.

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons asked for people to put safety first after a selfie and video of a man surrounded by fire went viral.

"Use some common sense," Mr Fitzsimmons said.

"If you come across a fire think about survival, not selfies." Firefighters are battling 14 out-of-control fires in NSW, a RFS spokesman told AAP.

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Instagram user Thekevinkwok of Kundabung, NSW, posted the selfie that caused the uproar yesterday afternoon, saying: "Travelling through Australia can be dangerous! Almost got stuck in a bushfire, luckily I called the fire brigade and drove quickly."

His post drew immediate media attention, and instant condemnation.

Instagram user Samanthacoverd replied: "You sir are an absolute idiot! You are obviously so self centred and crave nothing but attention that you are willing to put your life in danger! Think of your loved ones if anything terrible were to happen!! ... Seriously mate, grow a brain!"

The largest of the out-of-control fires is the Lone Pine fire near Port Stephens, which has burned through more than 6500ha of bush, with fears it could worsen in hot, windy conditions predicted for this afternoon.


The RFS has issued very high fire danger warnings for the greater Sydney region, the Hunter, the far north coast and the southern Riverina.

This means conditions today are expected to be worse than those that spread more than 50 fires over the weekend.

Mr Fitzsimmons said firefighters were preparing for a tough day in the Port Stephens area with the warm winds blowing off central Australia.


Firefighters are concerned the winds may push the fire towards Swan Bay and Medowie. Residents of Limeburners Creek, Karuah, Swan Bay and Nine Mile Creek are being urged to stay alert and follow the advice of firefighters.

The Pacific Highway was closed this morning near South Kempsey due to fire, but has since reopened.

Firefighters are asking motorists to exercise caution. Meanwhile, authorities are pushing ahead with two planned hazard reduction burns in a national park in Sydney's northwest.

NSW National Parks were planning a 50ha burn in Scheyville National Park today and tomorrow, weather permitting.