New South Wales bushfires roar into life, threatening homes, firefighters

The New South Wales bushfire crisis has erupted with fires now spanning the length of the state.

Some of the fires are so big the whole city of Sydney would fit inside.

It's putting firefighters in serious peril.

On Thursday night, Orangeville in New South Wales was not just orange but burning red.

 In the face of such fury, even fire-fighters ran.

There were fire tornadoes and rain of embers as the bushfire crisis roared back to life.

Some fires are as big as the city of Sydney and they burn to its north, west and south.

"We have also seen the fire is coming to very close proximity to major population centres, whether it is on the south coast, the Central Coast, or even greater western Sydney," said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

At Mangrove Mountain north of Sydney residents watched as the flames moved in.

"It's like someone ripping your heart off, that's how you feel at the moment, but what do you do? That's life," said resident Joseph Galea.

Thursday's sudden spread of fire caught many across the state off guard.

 At Bawley Point, south of Sydney, many residents chose to run.

"I've been here about 18 years; it's getting pretty close now. It's scary. I've gotta go," said resident Brett Croan.

 Homes were spared by a sudden wind change. Fire-fighters thought they would all be gone.

"I'm still in shock that we didn't lose homes or people," said Charlie Magnuson.

"I thought we were gonna lose the village, when those flames came over this hill - I thought we were gonna lose the fire shed and the village," said firefighter Olay Till.

Properties have been lost elsewhere but just how many is still unclear.

 Fire crews won't know till it's safe to enter and right now the danger is far too high