Key points:
• The death toll stands at four people
• In NSW, 1600 firefighters are battling some 60 bushfires, more than half of which were uncontained
• Severe fire danger stretches from the Queensland border to southern NSW
• In Queensland, more than 70 fires are burning with 36 structures destroyed.
• Firefighters have confirmed 259 homes destroyed in NSW since Friday

After a brief lull in the weather, Australian emergency services are once again concerned as conditions in New South Wales and Queensland deteriorate on Friday by more than what was expected.

Heavy smoke is being blown from a blaze at Gospers Mountain, near Lithgow,
and is affecting parts of Sydney and the Central Coast.

The New South Wales RFS has said there is now a severe fire danger from "border to border" today.

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Sydney could see highs of 35C, several degrees hotter than expected earlier in the week. That could be accompanied by winds, fanning any flames. Brisbane could see 33C with Ipswich on a blistering 37C.

NSW emergency fires:

Gospers Mountain, near Lithgow

Guyra Road, Ebor

Carrai East, near Kempsey

Myall Creek Road, near Myall Creek Road

Queensland Emergency fires:

Pechey/Ravensbourne, near Hampton

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Massive size of 'fast-moving' fire

8.15pm:

An emergency level fire burning on Sydney's doorstep has already destroyed more than 85,000 hectares and isn't showing any signs of slowing down.

The blaze is burning at Gospers Mountain in the Hawkesbury region, with emergency services warning the hot and windy conditions are causing it to spread quickly.

Fire crews are working to save homes in the areas of Higher MacDonald, Upper MacDonald and Webbs Creek, with residents warned to seek shelter as the blaze approaches.

People in Colo Heights and surrounding areas have been told to flee now towards Wilberforce "before it is too late".

Heavy smoke from the fire is being blown over the Central Coast and Sydney.

A photo posted to Twitter by the NSW RFS shows the sheer size of the blaze that fire crews are attempting to contain.

Sydney covered in 'hazardous' smoke

7.15pm:

A large fire burning near the Hawkesbury in NSW has covered Sydney in smoke, reducing the air quality in parts of the city to "hazardous".

The Emergency level fire burning at Gospers Mountain is more than 85,000 hectares in size and is spreading quickly.

Heavy smoke is being blown from the blaze and is affecting parts of Sydney and the Central Coast.

The air quality index is at hazardous levels in Sydney's east, very poor for the northwest and southwest, with other areas reduced to poor.

The smoke is expected to stick around until a southerly change clears it away this evening.

Another fire upgraded to emergency level

6.10pm:

Conditions are continuing to worsen for NSW, with another fire in the state's north upgraded to Emergency level.

A fire near Bungawalbin, New Italy and The Gap has already burnt through more than 5200 hectares and is out of control.

The blaze is expected to reach Gibberagee later this afternoon and the southern edge of the fire is continuing to burn through the Doubleduke State Forest towards the Sandy Crossing area.

Those in the Gibberagee area are being told to leave now towards Summerland Way.

People in the area of Whiporie are being told to watch out for smoke and embers.

There are now five emergency level fires burning, four in NSW and one in Queensland.

They are: Gospers Mountain, near Lithgow; Guyra Road, Ebor; Carrai East, near Kempsey;
Myall Creek Road; and Pechey/Ravensbourne, near Hampton.

Three fires at emergency level in NSW

5.35pm:

A third Emergency level fire is now burning across NSW, with the most recent warning in place for Carrai East, near Kempsey.

The blaze is burning out of control to the west and north-west of Kempsey and has reached breached containment lines on the northern part of the fire, crossing Armidale Rd.

Those in the area of Temagog are being urged to seek shelter as the fire front approaches, while people in Five Day Creek are being told to watch out for smoke and embers.

There are 61 fires burning across the state, with 32 still uncontained.

Another emergency warning for NSW

4.35pm:

Another fire has been upgraded to emergency warning for NSW, with residents being warned the fire is burning out of control.

A bushfire is burning on Guyra Rd, Ebor, near Armidale and people in the area are being told to seek shelter as the fire arrives.

The fire is fast moving and is burning towards Ebor village.

Emergency warning for NSW residents

3.30pm:

A fire burning in NSW's Central Tablelands, near Sydney, has been upgraded to Emergency level, with residents being warned to "leave now".

Hot and windy conditions are causing the blaze at Gospers Mountain, near Lithgow, to spread quickly towards the Colo Heights area.

The fire is also burning in the area of Mellong and south of Putty.

"Crews are conducting backburning operations around the Wallaby Swamp Trail, south east of the Putty area and on the southern edge of the fire, along the western side of Putty Road," the RFS said.

"If you are in the area of Colo Heights and surrounding areas and you are not prepared, leave now towards Wilberforce. Leave before it is too late."

Residents in the area of Yengo Drive are also being told to leave now towards Milbrodale.

People in St Albans, Upper MacDonald, Central MacDonald and Lower MacDonald are being told to monitor conditions.

The Putty Road is closed from Colo River to Milbrodale.

'Leave immediately': Another emergency alert

3.20pm:

Another fire has been upgraded to Emergency level, this time near the Darling Downs region of Queensland.

The QFES has warned people in the Pechey/Ravensbournes area to leave immediately "as it will soon be too dangerous to drive".

A fast-moving fire is travelling in an easterly direction from Grapetree Road at Peachey towards Ravensbourne.

It is likely to impact Purtill Road, Garvey Road, Ravensbourne Tip Road, Mount Jockey Road and McQuillan Road.

"Fire crews and waterbombing aircraft are working to the contain the fire, but conditions are now very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent the fire advancing," QFES said.

"The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path."

People leaving the area should head south-west along Esk Hampton Road towards Toowoomba.

Fires flare up south of Bundaberg

2.40pm:

Fires are blazing near Woodgate on the Queensland coast, south of Bundaberg.

Channel 9 reporter Harry Clarke posted the tweet below.

It's in an area where Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) this morning advised residents to leave now because of the bushfire threat.

It's currently almost 30C in the area and it's forecast to get to 33C.

In addition to Woodgate, residents of the following areas are advised to leave now:

• Kinkuna Waters (close to Woodgate)
• Thornside Road (west of Gympie)

Residents of Buxton, Cobraball/Bungundarra/Lake Mary, Spicers Peak Lodge, Mt Alphen and Mt Lindesay should stay informed on current conditions.