Boy, 11, interviewed by police over massive NSW fire

AN 11-YEAR-OLD boy is being interviewed by police after a fire in New South Wales that burned 5000 hectares.

A Sydney radio station tweeted the news just before 11am after police confirmed there had been numerous reports of looting in the fire ravaged area.

The 11-year-old was ''helping' detectives with their inquiries after a Heatherbrae fire.

In a briefing at 11am, police said temperatures were expected to  reach the high 30s in Western Sydney.

Winds were also expected to  strengthen ahead of Wednesday

There is still a threat to communities across the Blue Mountains and people need to keep up to date, they said.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scippione has spoken about the "low act" of looting, saying there has been only a small number of reports of looting. Police, including undercover officers, are patrolling these areas.

Fires expected to merge as 2000 firefighters do battle

A BLAZE raging in the Blue Mountains at Lithgow is expected to merge with one at Mount Victoria today as more than 2000 firefighters battle NSW fires.

The ABC was reporting a short time ago that the State Mine fire near Lithgow, which had burnt nearly 40,000 hectares, was of most concern.

A state of emergency is in effect across New South Wales with authorities warning of a mega fire of hundreds of kilometres.

Three large fires are burning in the Blue Mountains at Lithgow, Springwood and Mount Victoria.

Residents in some affected areas have been advised to leave ahead of deteriorating conditions over the coming days, with the worst of the weather due on Wednesday.

As of Monday morning, there were 56 bushfires burning across the state, 12 of which were reported to be out of control.

Firefighters say the worst day is expected to be Wednesday.

Police and fire crews have been given powers to order people to leave homes and to cut gas and power supplies if necessary.