NSW is preparing for catastrophic and unprecedented conditions in what could be the most dangerous bushfire week in Australia's history.
A catastrophic fire danger rating - the highest possible level - is in place for the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, Greater Sydney and Greater Hunter areas.
A number of Illawarra schools have been closed.
More than 3000 firefighters are on the ground across the state, supported by 60 aircraft ready to fight the blazes.
Temperatures across Wollongong are expected to hit 36 degrees on Tuesday with wind gusts up to 90km/h forecast for the region.
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