Up to 70 homes and other buildings have been destroyed in a ferocious "firestorm" on the NSW far south coast.
The 1000-hectare blaze around Tathra, east of Bega, which started on Sunday afternoon was fanned by very strong winds and high temperatures in the state's east.
Authorities began to assess the area at first light on Monday.
"Our early indications are that the number of buildings impacted is likely to climb above 70, but we will confirm that with the work of the building impact assessment teams this morning," RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told Network Seven on Monday.
"It's an awful situation throughout the community of Tathra, where we have damaged buildings, damaged homes, and infrastructure," he said.
He has described the blaze as a "firestorm"
Hundreds of residents in the town, which has a population of about 1600, slept in an evacuation centre in Bega or in their cars.
Communication was hampered when a mobile phone tower collapsed, making it difficult to determine how many people remained in the town.
More than 100 active firefighters working with aircraft and bulldozers are "trying to gain the upper hand" on the fire.
More than 22 fires are burning across NSW.