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NSW firies brace for rising temperatures

NSW firefighters are hoping to get some critical back-burning and containment work done before temperatures soar early next week, as dozens of bushfires continue to burn throughout the state.

There were almost 100 bush and grass fires in NSW on Saturday afternoon with more than 50 of them uncontained, and 16 burning at the "watch and act" alert level.

They included the Gospers Mountain fire near Sydney's northwestern outskirts, which has burned nearly 300,000 hectares and merged with neighbouring fires.

NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said firefighters were hoping to see some easing of conditions before temperatures climb on Tuesday.

"We're certainly hoping to see... conditions easing over the next 24 hours with more of an easterly influence, which will hopefully allow firefighters ... to really get in, consolidate and establish some containment lines," he told the ABC on Saturday.

"Because we are expecting a return to another hot day, particularly Tuesday.

"We're expecting to see temperatures climb into the high 30s or early 40s right across parts of NSW, so a lot of work ahead over the coming days, particularly in anticipation of what's expected."

The Bureau of Meteorology has painted a grim picture for the coming week, with winds forecast to whip dangerous fire grounds.

Some fires are generating plumes of smoke that are so vast, they appear as rain on the bureau's radar.

The bureau has forecast temperatures to hit the low to mid 40s in the Hunter, Central Tablelands and western Sydney on Tuesday.

In western Sydney, a maximum of 43C is forecast for Penrith while at Singleton in the Hunter it's a maximum of 44C.

Temperatures will also soar in the state's northwest, where they are forecast to hit a maximum of 43C in Bourke. At Cobar in the central west, a maximum of 43C is also expected.

About 1000 homes have been either damaged or destroyed this bushfire season while almost 5000 homes have been saved, according to figures released by the RFS.

Meanwhile, a pilot was lucky to escape serious injury on Saturday after a helicopter involved in the firefighting effort crashed north of Newcastle.

The man, who was the only person on board, was taken to John Hunter Hospital as a precaution after a hard landing at Crawford River.

© AAP 2019