Over 30 NSW homes lost to bushfires

But 600 homes saved from fires, says Rural Fire Service

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Firefighters continue to battle bushfires in northern NSW but conditions are expected to improve.

Firefighters continue to battle bushfires in northern NSW but conditions are expected to improve.

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Drake fire near Tenterfield most destructive still alight, Kingsgate fire near Glen Innes out of control.

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Bushfires have destroyed more than 30 NSW properties only weeks into the fire season as emergency services prepare for more unfavourable conditions.

The fire in bushland around Drake has been the most destructive, burning through more than 60,000 hectares and 16 properties since it started almost two weeks ago.

Thirty-four homes have been destroyed - 26 of those by the most recent fires - and another 13 have been damaged.

Rural Fire Service Inspector Ben Shepherd said more than 40 fires were burning across the state on Tuesday and about a dozen of them were uncontained.

"It is important not to lose sight of the fact that, although these losses are tragic, there have been more than 600 homes that have actually been saved due to the great work of firefighters," he said.

Although rain and snow fell in other parts of NSW as conditions eased overnight, Mr Shepherd said firefighters were concerned more blazes would be sparked by dry lightning expected on Tuesday afternoon.

NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said the rain falling on the state's coast, desperately needed to extinguish the fires, had not extended inland.

"The sheer size of these fires are going to make them a long-term proposition to try and contain and there are no easy answers to getting these fires out," he said.

Three fires remain at advice level: the Long Gully Rd bushfire near Drake, the Bees Nest fire near Armidale and the out-of-control Kingsgate fire near Glen Innes.

The Kingsgate fire has burned through more than 16,000ha but the threat to homes has eased.

Australian Associated Press

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