Victims of a huge bushfire in north-west New South Wales have temporarily returned home to inspect the ruins of their properties.
The fire destroyed 40 homes, more than 100 outbuildings and burnt through 42,000 acres west of Coonabarabran earlier this week.
is still in place for the bushfire, which is burning in the Warrumbungle National Park.
It is still unclear when the more than 100 evacuees will be able to permanently return home.
John Shobbrook flew over his property in the ABC's helicopter and says it was tough to see the ashes of his house for the first time.
"Pretty hollow, there's sort of an emptiness inside," he said.
"But you know, nobody in Coonabarabran lost their lives and at the airport this morning when I saw the very wonderful effort by all the helicopter and fixed wing pilots on our behalf, that was very uplifting. We're not alone in this.
Mr Shobbrook says there is nothing left of his home.
"It's hard to take, hard to lose a lifetime of memories, we didn't get one document out of the house," he said.
"Within a few minutes you can see there's nothing so that's the way it goes. But we're all safe.
"I appreciate the efforts that all the firefighters have put in, I've seen them with tears streaming down their cheeks."
On Wednesday police allowed evacuated locals through road blocks to inspect their properties but they were urged not to disturb the wreckage because the area is a crime scene.
"Some residents have been able to return to their homes and the general area of unfortunately where their homes once stood," RFS spokeswoman Laura Ryan said.
"But obviously some residents are unable to return due to safety problems that we have in the area.
"Firefighters are working as fast as they can but it is definitely a safety concern and we'll only be letting them in once we're absolutely assured of their safety."
The Warrumbungle Shire Council has set up a Mayor's Appeal to help locals who have lost their homes and properties in the bushfires.
Mayor Peter Shinton says around $50,000 has already been pledged and the money will be distributed by a charity.
"It was also prompted by a lot of people on the coast who started to phone up and say, we want to donate money, where do we donate it to? Who do we donate it to?" he said.
"That was amazing. I don't know how you express your gratitude for the way people feel and what people are doing for locals around here."
Fight goes on
Crews fighting the fire in the Warrumbungle National Park are focusing their efforts on building containment lines ahead of expected warmer weather on Friday.
Another fire to the north-east has burned through 15,000 hectares of the Pilliga Nature Reserve and cut access to the Newell Highway between Coonabarabran and Narrabri.
The RFS's John Wittall says the conditions expected on Friday are shaping up to be better than first thought.
But he says being well prepared is still crucial.
"The next 48 hours its extremely important that we consolidate all our containment lines so we make sure that we can protect against any potential breakouts," he said.
Incident controller Steve Rayson says firefighters are making good progress.
"We will continue the operation of strengthening, both building the containment lines and back burning where the weather conditions are appropriate so that we have burnt out all the fuel between the fire and the edge," he said.
RFS spokesman Paul Best says the service is doing all it can to rest exhausted crews.
"Firefighters are being brought in from outside the areas that are affected so those local crews can stand down and have a rest and catch up with their families," he said.
"They're being housed in a base camp, so people are calling it a bit of a tent city.
"There's 185 firefighters that have been moved in from out of the area to assist their country counterparts."
A community meeting was held on Wednesday morning at the Coonabarabran Bowling Club, which has been functioning as an evacuation centre for residents affected by the fires.
Mr Shinton says the community is banding together to help those affected.
"We have chaplains here at the present moment who are consoling people and that sort of stuff," he said.
"There are going to be mental health issues here, there's going to be all sorts of things.
"Everyone wants to know, 'I've got livestock that are starving, where do I turn?'
"That'll all be run from the one centre. As well as all of the other problems.
"It's going to be a one-stop shop, which is a fantastic idea."
There is currently 90 fires burning across the state, 18 of which are uncontained.
Meanwhile a transmitter site at the edge of the Warrumbungle National Park could be impacted by the bushfires, but you can still hear emergency information from the ABC.
Fire is approaching the Mt Cenn Cruiach site and while it is prepared for the impact of fire, it is possible that radio services could be interrupted.
If you lose ABC Local Radio service from the 107.1 FM frequency in the Coonabarabran area, there are several alternative frequencies carrying ABC Local.
You can find them .
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