A state of emergency has been declared for New South Wales as fire authorities issue an unprecedented catastrophic fire danger warning for the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter and Illawarra/Shoalhaven areas.

Residents living near bushland will be most at risk but embers flying kilometres ahead of blazes could threaten those in suburban regions, prompting the closure of over 350 schools.

The Rural Fire Service says planning tonight is crucial before conditions deteriorate tomorrow.


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