Firefighters may be fatigued after days of battling ferocious blazes across NSW, but they are "invested" in efforts to save lives and homes, the RFS chief said ahead of yet more hot, dry conditions and severe fire danger this weekend.
"Difficult" conditions remained on Friday evening as firefighters took on the huge Gospers Mountain fire in Hawkesbury which triggered an emergency warning.
Smoke from the blaze, which was covering more than 85 hectares, has made it all the way to the Central Coast and northern Sydney areas.
"These are the difficult conditions facing firefighters at the Gospers Mountain fire in the Hawkesbury," the Rural Fire Service tweeted alongside footage showing the scale of the fire with masses of smoke and flames rising into the sky.
The number of emergency warnings issued continued to rise throughout the day - with four in place at one stage including Guyra Road in Ebor, east of Armidale near Cathedral Rock National Park.
A man suspected of starting that blaze has since been arrested.
Four lives have been lost in fires in the past week and the RFS confirmed more than 250 homes have been destroyed.
Almost 90 homes have been damaged, while some 480 outbuildings and 18 facilities have also been razed.
In some positive news the RFS believes their efforts have saved more than 2000 buildings.
RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons on Friday said while firefighters are fatigued they remain determined in their job.
"There's fatigue alright, the physical fatigue, but these men and women, they're so emotionally and mentally invested in just trying to save and protect their communities," Mr Fitzsimmons said.
By Friday afternoon there were 61 fires burning across the state, with more than half uncontained.
A severe fire danger rating remained in place for the far north coast, north coast, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region and Illawarra-Shoalhaven on Friday night, and large parts of the state are under total fire bans.
The biggest danger moves to the north of the state on Saturday - with severe ratings issued for New England, the Northern Slopes and northwestern regions.
Total fire bans are in effect in those areas, as well as the far north coast on a day that will see temperatures into the mid 30s, very low humidity and gusty winds once again.
The RFS said more than 130 brigades will open on Saturday morning to speak with residents across the state about their local risk, property preparation and making a plan ahead of what is expected to be a long bushfire season.
The four people killed in the past week are Barry Parsons 58, at Willawarrin, near Kempsey, Julie Fletcher, 63, who died in the town of Johns River, and Wytaliba locals Vivian Chaplain, 69, and George Nole.
The Insurance Council of Australia said insurers had received 900 claim applications, with initial losses totalling $100 million.
Australian billionaire James Packer, meanwhile, has pledged $1 million to boost RFS resources and equipment budgets.
The federal government said it has provided almost $1.7 million in aid to people in bushfire-hit areas across NSW and Queensland.
Australian Associated Press