Third region of NSW rated ‘catastrophic’

By AAP Newswire

A third region of NSW is now facing catastrophic fire danger with authorities upgrading the rating for the Illawarra and Shoalhaven areas south of Sydney.

"The fire danger tomorrow (Tuesday) is now expected to be worse than originally forecast," the Rural Fire Service tweeted on Monday afternoon.

"The Illawarra/Shoalhaven is now forecast to experience a catastrophic fire danger as will Greater Sydney and Greater Hunter."

NSW has declared a state of emergency for seven days as bushfires rage across the state.

Emergency Services Minister David Elliott on Monday warned residents were facing what "could be the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen".

The fires have claimed three lives and so far destroyed more than 150 homes.