Fire-fighters in Australia battling bushfires on Wednesday (October 23) said the situation could become worse considering the weather conditions.
Hot, dry winds have been fanning the fires which broke out last week, destroying more than 200 homes.
One man died after suffering a heart attack trying to protect his home.
Wednesday's fire conditions were shaping up to be the worst so far in the state's bushfire crisis, Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.
"We're doing OK at the moment. There's a lot of fire activity started to develop around those perimeters, around those edges. It's becoming quite active. We're not getting any reports of outbreaks at this stage, or cross-overs, which remains a positive result this time of the day. Clearly we are watching that, we'll be monitoring that very closely throughout the afternoon," Fitzsimmons said.
Temperatures in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney are on the rise while in Sydney itself they could hit 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit). Hot, dry winds gusting up to 100 kph (60 mph) are also expected, posing the greatest challenge to fire-fighters.
There were still 59 fires burning across the state on Wednesday, 19 of which were out of control, according to the latest update from the RFS.
Authorities ordered schools in the Blue Mountains to be closed, evacuated nursing homes and advised people living in the area to leave before conditions deteriorated.
The Blue Mountains, whose foothills extend down to western Sydney suburbs like Penrith, are populated with a mix of farmers, small business owners and white-collar commuters who make the trip into the city every day.
Presented by Adam Justice