At least 11 homes are among more than two dozen buildings destroyed or damaged by a wild bushfire that remains out of control in northern NSW.
Residents this morning returned to their scorched properties near Tingha as firefighters north and south of the small country town continue to battle the large blaze.
The fire, fanned in multiple directions on Wednesday by changing winds, has already burned through more than 12,400 hectares.
It is now moving north and threatening Gilgai, Ponds Creek, Old Mill and Stannifer. An emergency warning remains in place for those areas.
Kim Deans, who sold off most stock on her eight-hectare property last week due to drought, said it was a miracle her home was still standing and that her last remaining cow and calf survived.
“We’re incredibly grateful our house is still standing thanks to the firefighters and locals who put themselves in harm’s way to protect life and property,” she told AAP after arriving home on Thursday morning.
“And they’re still going (saving other properties) this morning.”
She said one neighbour’s house had been destroyed, while many others would have suffered livestock losses.
NSW Rural Fire Service confirmed the fire had destroyed six homes and nine outbuildings, and damaged another five homes and six other buildings.
RFS spokesman Greg Allen said conditions had eased late on Thursday morning.
“We’re keeping close eyes on things, there is the possibility the emergency warning will be reduced to Watch and Act,” he said.
Meanwhile, a fire allegedly started in a backyard rubbish bin has burned through almost 3000 hectares at Tabulam near the NSW-Queensland border.
The RFS were unable to confirm reports five homes had been lost in that blaze, but said several properties had been “impacted” and that the fire alert level remains at Watch and Act.
A 40-year-old woman is accused of setting alight rubbish in a steel drum in her backyard during a total fire ban and is due to appear in Casino Local Court on February 27.
Less than 50 kilometres west, another massive, out-of-control fire at Wallangarra has burned through 15,400 hectares.
Nearly 40 fires continue to burn across NSW, 10 of which are uncontained.
The NSW RFS predicts it will take “days and days” for crews to contain all the fires, which they hope to do before more hot weather returns at the weekend.