A large fire fighting aircraft is believed to have crashed in the Monaro region in southern NSW amid another horror day of gusting winds and increased fire activity.
This afternoon the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) confirmed it was investigating reports that an air tanker had crashed.
Local fire crews reported the plane, which is one of the Hercules model water bombers, may have crashed, while the RFS confirmed that they had lost contact with the tanker.
It was thought to have been working in the Monaro / Snowy region battling blazes in the Peak View area to the north-east of Cooma.
Wind gusts of over 90 kilometres an hour were recorded earlier today at Cooma airport.
Helicopters are reported to have been deployed for the aircraft, which was water bombing fires in the area.
Fire conditions across NSW have deteriorated today due to howling winds and low humidity.
The worst fires are in the Southern Tablelands and across to the south coast, with Moruya and Nowra both threatened.
Canberra residents again have blazes on their door steps, with the airport closed due to the conditions.
A band of rain that delivered heavy tallies over parts of Victoria yesterday is yet to hit the eastern Snowy region, with falls in NSW today confined to the western side of the mountains and the eastern Riverina.