Firies On High Alert As Hot, Windy Conditions Return

A total fire ban has been declared for large swathes of northern NSW, with forecast hot and windy weather again placing authorities on red alert.

People in the far north coast, north coast, Greater Hunter, New England, Northern Slopes and northwestern regions of NSW will on Thursday be barred from lighting fires in the open.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has advised residents that homes can provide safety during a fire if they are well prepared and actively defended.

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a maximum of 33C in Bellingen on Thursday, with 31C in Ballina and Moree Plains, 30C in Gunnedah, 29C in Cessnock and 28C in Tenterfield.

The warm weather comes after the RFS on Wednesday confirmed 64 homes were razed in bushfires that swept through northern NSW last week, with more than 150 outbuildings also destroyed.

The Busbys Flat and Drake fires are still burning and currently at advice level, one week after blazes swept through the area south of Casino.

Many homes were lost in bushfires at Busbys Flat. Image: AAP

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The RFS said 44 homes were destroyed by the Busbys Flat blaze and 19 in the Drake fire, which claimed the lives of Bob Lindsay, 77, and his wife Gwen Hyde, 68.

Another home was lost at the Purgatory Creek fire at Jackadgery, west of Grafton.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said there had been more than 5000 bush and grass fires across NSW this season, with a million hectares of land burnt out.