As out-of-control bushfires continue to ravage New South Wales and Queensland, some residents have returned to utter devastation. And it's not just people suffering.

A heartbreaking photo of a mother koala cuddling her joey on a blackened tree has prompted countless offers for help as concerns mount amid the Australian bushfires.

Tens of thousands of hectares in Queensland and NSW have been turned to ash by bushfires.

Stanthorpe local Samantha Wantling told ABC News reporter Elly Bradfield there were no words to describe the devastation after a blaze tore through the Granite Belt region, turning at least seven properties into charred rubble.

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"It's like an atomic bomb went off," she said.

As many as 21 homes have been destroyed across northern NSW and Queensland and authorities have warned residents they are not out of the woods yet.

There have been no reported deaths, but wildlife groups are worried about the animals left with nowhere to go.

Fire brigades battle with Queensland bush fires. Video / Maroochy River Rural Fire Brigade / Cambooya Rural Fire Brigade

In the Gold Coast Hinterland, Jimboomba Police rescued a mother koala found cradling her joey on a blackened tree and took the pair to the RSPCA Queensland Wildlife Hospital.

"Sending our Wildcare volunteers on the ground all the support," Wildcare Australia Inc said.

"It's going to be a tough weekend."

This koala mum and her joey were rescued last night by Jimboomba Police and Wildcare volunteers in the Gold Coast...

Posted by Wildcare Australia Inc. on Friday, 6 September 2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the nation was standing alongside those affected by "what is still a tense situation".

"And to all those that are out there volunteering today and supporting those in desperate need and fighting those fires, as always we say thank you to you," he said.

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Morrison said people who had been affected by the fires would get all the support they expect from the commonwealth and state governments.

Livestock had nowhere to go as the fire raged through Stanthorpe overnight. Photo / Cambooya Rural Fire Brigade
Livestock had nowhere to go as the fire raged through Stanthorpe overnight. Photo / Cambooya Rural Fire Brigade

Emergency services have urged those who remain concerned for their safety to listen to their local radio station and check the relevant fire service websites for regular updates.

Anyone in fear of their life or whose property is under threat by fire should call triple-0.

Disaster grants are now available for affected communities through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

QUEENSLAND

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Saturday 18 homes had been lost across three communities, but this was later revised to 15.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said 11 homes had burned down in the areas of Sarabah and Binna Burra, along the Scenic Rim inland from the Gold Coast.

Seven structures, including three homes, were also destroyed in the Stanthorpe area.

At least one other home was lost on Thursday, near Mareeba in north Queensland.

"This is a person's home, this is where they raise their children, their grandchildren," Palaszczuk told reporters on Saturday.

"So we have a number of families at the moment who are actually going through some really traumatic times.

"We are in the process of trying to reach those families.

"We understand they are all safe, but they will be going through a lot of grief at the moment and I understand that our community will pull together and definitely make sure that they get back on their feet."

Palaszczuk said the main area of concern was around the Stanthorpe area of Applethorpe, where a dangerous fire was encroaching on properties south of Matthews Lane and Arico Lane.

"We are not out of this yet," the premier said.

QFES warned early on Saturday that the fire at Binna Burra in Lamington National Park was the biggest threat but it was downgraded at 11am to "Watch and Act".

Despite some residents returning to the area, they're being asked to be ready to leave again.

Palaszczuk said she was also concerned about people's health, particularly asthmatics, because of the amount of dust in the air.

Nobody has died but one man in his 20s has been taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition after collapsing while fighting a fire at a private residence in Clagiraba.

QFES Minister Craig Crawford pleaded with people to remain alert and heed the warnings.

"If you receive a message to leave or to prepare to leave, we ask that you follow that without question," he said.

"If you have an emergency service worker or volunteer door knock on your house and ask you to do something, please follow the request.

"It is for a very, very good reason."

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen's voice quivered as he detailed the devastation to the rural town of Canungra, close to his own home.

"This is the most beautiful part of Queensland, and I believe of Australia, and to see that beauty destroyed in the way it has been is pretty tough," Christensen said.

"And for the people who have come here to live, because it is the best place on earth, to see their peace and tranquillity torn apart like this is quite confronting."

He told any "rubber-neckers" considering having a look at the blackened town to stay away.

"This is a tragedy unfolding for many people. It is not for your entertainment," he said.

Christensen was to hold a briefing with affected locals at Canungra.

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen provides an update on the bushfire situation. Photo / News Corp Australia
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen provides an update on the bushfire situation. Photo / News Corp Australia

Power was cut to homes in the Warwick and Stanthorpe areas for public safety reasons on Friday and up to 6500 customers were initially off the grid.

The Stanthorpe situation was dire. Residents in the early hours of Saturday were told to seek shelter immediately, but the blaze has been downgraded to "Watch and Act" level.

Wind gusts overnight reached 90km/h.

The New England Highway has since been reopened in the area, and some residents are being allowed to return to their homes.

Photos taken by Cambooya Rural Fire Brigade crews on Friday and during the evening showed livestock directly in the path of the Stanthorpe bushfire.

Metres-high trees were also well alight.

Cambooya crews called to assist in Stanthorpe yesterday and last night.Stanthorpe ablaze. Through the night our crew...

Posted by Cambooya Rural Fire Brigade on Friday, 6 September 2019

The Bureau of Meteorology said a cool change was pushing through the state, but strong and gusty westerly winds would fuel fires.

"We still have a very high fire danger over the next few days given it's windy and dry, so not ideal fire fighting weather from that point," meteorologist Harry Clark told AAP on Saturday.

About 50 fires are burning across Queensland.

Two men attempt to fend off the flames at Stanthorpe. Photo / Supplied
Two men attempt to fend off the flames at Stanthorpe. Photo / Supplied

NEW SOUTH WALES

Four homes in a northern NSW town are believed to have been destroyed and a firefighter is fighting for his life.

The 66-year-old volunteer firefighter suffered serious burns to his head, face and upper body and is in a critical condition in the Royal Brisbane Hospital.

His colleague was not injured but the fire truck they were sheltering in was destroyed.

Two bushfires are at emergency warning level in the state's north and it's "too late to leave", according to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

These are burning at Long Gully Rd in Drake (14,000ha) and Bees Nest near Armidale (50,000ha).

The bushfire at Mount Mckenzie Rd in Tenterfield (3500ha) is still out of control but has been downgraded from emergency level to "Watch and Act".

Another emergency blaze has sprung up along the Princes Highway in Cobargo in the south.

Bushfires swept through the country town of Tenterfield yesterday with several homes lost. Photo / News Corp Australia
Bushfires swept through the country town of Tenterfield yesterday with several homes lost. Photo / News Corp Australia

"Take shelter in a solid structure when the fire front arrives," the NSW RFS said.

"Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

"After the fire front has passed, patrol your property and extinguish any spot fires.

"If you are caught in the path of the fire, you may die or be injured."

Police say four residential properties and a shooting range in Tenterfield are thought to have been destroyed in one of the fires.

Another two homes have reportedly been destroyed in Drake, according to ABC News.

More than 500 firefighters are working to protect homes and control 60 bush and grass fires across the state in difficult conditions.

An evacuation centre has been established at the Tenterfield Showgrounds at 62 Mile St.

Trees falling across roads are limiting access into and out of firegrounds, for both residents and firefighters, RFS spokesman Ben Shepherd said.

"We continue to see quite erratic fire behaviour," he said.

The Tenterfield blaze left a path of devastation and continues to burn. Photo / News Corp Australia
The Tenterfield blaze left a path of devastation and continues to burn. Photo / News Corp Australia

"We will see the winds strengthen again across the day and they will push the fires in a easterly and north-easterly direction."

The RFS expects some fires will burn for weeks.