Photos of residents fighting to save their homes

The Guardian News has been told that seven homes, and maybe more, were destroyed at McHughs Creek and South Arm Road over the weekend - four on McHughs Creek Rd, three on South Arm Rd and one on Menzies Gully Rd.

A resident said that five fire trucks arrived on Friday following a call to Triple 0 and did an amazing job of saving as many homes as possible.

"It was just not possible to save all of them, there weren't enough trucks but the firies did a fantastic job protecting what they could," the resident said.

He said the volunteers included firefighters from Victoria, as well as other towns in NSW.

He also praised Nambucca Shire Council workers, who were out first thing on Saturday morning cutting down trees that were unsafe and restoring access where possible.

"Everything was burnt - on Friday all the bush, all the trees, everything was alight. The roads were closed and trees are falling all the time."

The area continues to be without power or phone connection and mobile coverage is "sketchy". Those who can, are using their generators to keep things going.

Today many in other areas around the shire preparing to evacuate, some for the second time, as extreme conditions are forecast for tomorrow (Tuesday).

Residents are being reminded of the old adage, "in a bushfire, the safest place to be is somewhere else" with suggestions it is better to get yourselves and your families and animals out today rather than waiting.

If you have not already done so, please make sure you have a fire plan and everyone in your household knows where to go if fires threaten your area.

Clearing gutters of leaves and trimming branches are simple steps you can take to help keep your home safe.

A state of emergency has been declared in NSW ahead of catastrophic bushfire danger risk on Tuesday.

Five people have lost their lives during the bushfire danger period so far this year and today, Monday, the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the government would take critical stops to protect people from bushfires.

Worsening bushfire conditions are expected during the coming week, with a total fire ban in place for NSW on Monday and Tuesday.

Also making the news: