Residents in fire-ravaged areas of NSW are preparing for dangers to ramp up again from the blazes which have killed four people and destroyed more than 300 homes.
A forecast of more warm, dry and windy weather has raised Friday's danger rating to severe from the far north coast down to the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region.
Harrowing details have emerged of the frightening last hours of Barry Parsons, the fourth victim of the fires.
The 58-year-old's body was discovered in bushland on the southern end of the Kyuna Track at Willawarrin, near Kempsey, on Wednesday night, five days after he was last seen.
The last post on a Facebook page in his name described Friday's apocalyptic conditions.
"Seriously looks and sounds like apocolyse (sic) out there . F**ked up being on your own in these times," it read.
He also said there was "smoke everywhere" and "No bird sounds. Just got winds and mandarin skies."
Mr Parsons, who had reportedly been living alone in a shed in the remote area, had not been seen since Friday.
Australian Hemp Party president Michael Balderstone said Mr Parsons would occasionally drop in at the Nimbin hemp embassy.
"He was a lovely peaceful guy. He was just a lovely gentle guy," he told AAP.
Friend David Carr said Mr Parsons' death was "devastatingly sad".
"We have all been fearful that the below post of our friend Barry Parsons could be his last. Sadly it was. So devastatingly sad," he wrote on Facebook.
"The feeling of horror with the terror and fear he must have gone through."
News of his death comes after Julie Fletcher, 63, Vivian Chaplain, 69, and elderly man George Nole all died in the fires.
Firefighters are "in for the long haul", Rural Fire Service NSW Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said on Thursday.
A severe fire danger rating is in place for the far north coast, north coast, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region and Illawarra-Shoalhaven and large parts of the state will come under total fire bans.
Mr Rogers said despite the easing of conditions on Thursday there remained a lot of "aggressive" fire behaviour because the land is so dry.
"Conditions starting to warm up tomorrow, into the weekend and then heating up early next week, a return to more gusty conditions. We're in for the long haul," he told the Seven Network.
In an update to parliament Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said 329 homes have been destroyed, with another 131 damaged.
There were more than 1500 firefighters deployed across the state on Thursday afternoon, with more than 70 aircraft and 500 vehicles in place to support them.
One emergency warning remained in place on Thursday evening for the 5200-hectare Bora Ridge fire burning southeast of Casino.
It is currently the only fire in the state burning at an emergency alert level, while seven blazes are at "watch and act".
A suspected arsonist was reportedly arrested after an army Black Hawk helicopter chased him through Sydney's Royal National Park on Wednesday, and two more people were charged for breaching that day's total fire ban.
A Sydney CBD fireworks display due to take place on Thursday night has been cancelled after Transport for NSW temporarily banned on-water fireworks displays, while NSW remains in a state of emergency.
There were about 60 fires burning around NSW on Thursday, with more than 30 uncontained.
About 60 schools will remain closed in fire-affected areas on Friday.
The Insurance Council of Australia said insurers had received 730 claim applications, with initial losses totalling $80 million.
Australian Associated Press