Doctors and paramedics on the ground have treated more than 100 people hurt during devastating bushfires in NSW, including 20 firefighters.
NSW on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for seven days, with the danger considered "catastrophic" for the Greater Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra/Shoalhaven regions, and "severe and extreme" across large tracts of the rest of the state.
NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan is considering bringing in extra resources from interstate.
"Over the last few days our doctors and paramedics have been exceedingly busy - they've treated over 100 patients for fire-related activity," he told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
"We had a whole range of things that have been confirmed from very severe burns, sadly resulting in a loss of life in some instances, right down to minor injuries and minor burns."
Mr Morgan paid tribute to firefighters injured in the line of duty.
"That's something that we should all be recognising," he said.
"Up to 20 (of the people treated) have been directly related to firefighters being injured while protecting their own communities."
Mr Morgan said 30 additional ambulance crews would be deployed across the state to ensure additional protection as well as extra air assets.
NSW Health warned people in Sydney and the Hunter to take precautions with smoke blowing south from fires on the state's mid-north coast forecast to cause poor air quality on Monday afternoon.
The best way to reduce smoke exposure is to stay inside with the doors and windows shut, the department's Director of Environmental Health Dr Richard Broome said.
"For most people, smoke causes mild symptoms like sore eyes, nose and throat," Dr Broome said in a statement on Monday.
"However people with existing lung and heart conditions like asthma, emphysema and angina are more likely to be sensitive to the effects of smoke."
"People with these conditions should avoid outdoor physical activity when there's smoke around."
Australian Associated Press