'Too late to leave': locals to shelter as blaze flares

A major out-of-control bushfire in northwest NSW has flared, with residents in the remote area told it is too late to leave.

The bushfire in forest at Pilliga, near Narrabri, was relisted at emergency level on Monday afternoon after earlier being downgraded to watch and act.

Residents to the south of Narrabri were told to seek shelter as the fast-growing 64,700ha fire burned towards them.

"If you are in the area of Bohena Creek, between McCanns Road, Perimeter Road, Tomlinson Lane and Newell Highway, your life is at risk," the NSW Rural Fire Service said in an emergency alert.

"It is too late to leave."

Firefighters are battling to 19 uncontained blazes and dozens more across the state.

At 5pm on Monday a shelter now warning remained in place for Bohena Creek with those in the vicinity of Willala, Baan Baa and Goolhi advised to be aware of falling embers catching alight.

Firefighters were continuing to work with the support of aircraft to slow the spread of the fire and protect properties across a number of areas.

An RFS spokesperson said there were was no confirmed reports of properties being lost or damaged, but further assessments would be conducted in coming days.

Smoke could be seen across an area spanning hundreds of kilometres areas around Tamworth, Walcha, Armidale and even coastal communities near Port Macquarie.

An evacuation centre was set up at Narrabri, a town of around 13,000 people, for those who had fled the fire.

On Monday, there were 62 fires burning across NSW with 19 not yet contained and more than 600 firefighters and incident management personnel active.

A high fire danger warning was in place for parts of the state's north near the Queensland border, including the area surrounding Narrabri.

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