The Queen has sent a personal message to the Governor of New South Wales, expressing her sympathy as the Australian state battles raging wildfires.
Almost 200 homes have been destroyed in the worst hit region - the Blue Mountains west of Sydney - and another 109 have been damaged by fire.
The Queen told NSW Governor Marie Bashir today: "I would like to convey my heartfelt sympathies to all those who have been affected by the devastating bushfires across New South Wales.
"My thoughts are with the many people who have lost their homes or livelihoods in the fires and I have the greatest admiration for the firefighters, volunteers and emergency services officers who are working tirelessly to control the situation."
The destruction toll continued to rise on Saturday from some of the most costly wildfires to ever strike Australia's most populous state as fire fighters prepared for worsening conditions.
In the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, one of the worst hit regions in fire-ravaged New South Wales state, 193 homes have been destroyed and another 109 damaged by the fire storm that peaked on Thursday, the Rural Fire Service announced on Saturday.
Residents who lost family homes in a wildfire in Australia have said they are devastated. "I said to my husband, 'I remember when you carried me across the threshold'...All of that hard work the we put into everything for all years and it's just gone," said Yellow Rock resident Christine Senior.
On Saturday, 83 fires were burning across the state including 19 uncontained blazes.
New South Wales State Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said mostly dry weather conditions were set to continue. "The optimism we had for good, widespread rain seems to be disappearing," he said.