ONE person dead, eight homes and 39 structures lost and thousands of hectares of property razed.
Hunter Valley and Central Coast Rural Fire Service volunteers were praying for a peaceful weekend after a draining week of firefighting across the region.
Across the state, the fires have left hundreds of homes feared destroyed, while emergency services warn there may be worse news to come.
More than 1500 firefighters were on the ground in NSW yesterday as more than 90 fires scorched through 91,000 hectares and destroyed almost 90 homes.
Walter Linder, 63, died and at least six structures were lost when the Lake Munmorah fire tore a path north on the eastern side of the lake.
Mr Linder is believed to have suffered a heart attack while defending his Lake Munmorah home on Thursday.
The fire continued its path north, destroying the former service station known as the Big Prawn before heading to Catherine Hill Bay.
The historic Wallarah House, nearby Jetty Master’s Cottage and at least three other structures were also destroyed.
Emergency Services Minister Mike Gallacher said it was a ‘‘miracle’’ that the losses weren’t greater.
Several flare-ups yesterday occurred near Cams Wharf and Chain Valley Bay before firefighters began to get the upper hand.
Evacuation centres at Doyalson and Swansea saw hundreds of displaced residents register and seek assistance from a range of government agencies and service providers.
Some were allowed to return to their homes at communities such as Gwandalan and Summerland Point; however, many remained in limbo yesterday including residents from Catherine Hill Bay, Murrays Beach, Nords Wharf and Cams Wharf.
In the Port Stephens area, Newcastle Airport reopened yesterday morning.
Burning since last Sunday, the Hank Street, Heatherbrae, fire flared again on Thursday to rage over more than 4700 hectares of bushland.
Its blackened wake spanned from the Pacific Highway near Raymond Terrace through Medowie to the airport and the edge of Grahamstown Dam.
Hundreds of residents were stranded, forcing more than 500 to seek help from an evacuation centre in Raymond Terrace.
They were allowed home yesterday as firefighters worked to clear broken trees and debris to keep scorched areas safe.
Overall roughly 700 firefighters battled the fire, the third emergency fire on the peninsula in less than a week.
About 100 were holding the line last night in a bid to contain the fire while weather conditions remained on their side.
Late yesterday afternoon the Heatherbrae fire appeared to have claimed only a handful of structures.
In the Upper Hunter, thousands of hectares of land were burnt around Muswellbrook, Singleton and Cessnock local government areas; however, only a few properties were threatened.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited the Blue Mountains, where one person was confirmed dead and scores of homes were lost.