A firefighter has died battling a blaze in Victoria's alpine region as authorities warned bushfire dangers were far from over despite improving conditions.
The firefighter was involved in an "incident" while tackling an inferno near Omeo on Saturday, taking the nation's death toll to 28.
"Family and fellow emergency personnel are being informed and will be supported," Forest Fires Management Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman said.
"The safety and well-being of our people is our highest priority."
It is with great sadness that we confirm that a Forest Fire Management Victoria firefighter from Parks Victoria has been involved in an incident while working on a fire in the Omeo area resulting in a fatality. Family and fellow emergency personnel are being informed. pic.twitter.com/Fa9rYg1ffK— Chris Hardman (@FFMVic_Chief) January 11, 2020
There had been serious concerns for potential bushfire horrors on Friday leading into the weekend but no homes were lost in NSW despite strong northerlies and a blustery cool change causing fires to jump lines and several emergency warnings.
Most residents in Victoria's bushfire-stricken areas were granted a similar reprieve after hot temperatures and gusty winds wrought less carnage than feared.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said authorities were "incredibly relieved" to have come through relatively unscathed.
"I strongly believe one of the reasons we came through it as well as we did was the preparation," she said on Saturday.
"There is no doubt in my mind that that level of professionalism and preparedness allowed communities to survive another long and difficult night."
Milder conditions are forecast for the next week to 10 days, meaning attention can turn increasingly to recovery and relieving exhausted emergency services workers.
However tourists are not expected to be allowed back to Victoria's Alpine region for weeks and some local businesses are worried tourists could stay out for months.
Owner of the Bright women's clothing store Chooks, Bernadette Harrington-McNally, said it was "annoying" the area was being perceived as so dangerous when it hasn't seen a flame.
"No one is going to come back, I don't know when they are going to come back," she told AAP.
Victoria's Emergency Services Commissioner Andrew Crisp said rainfall had been varied, for example East Bairnsdale received a rain dump of about 18mm while Mallacoota only received 2mm.
"It is a tale of two states at the moment in terms of temperature and conditions," Mr Crisp said.
Authorities will spend the next few days trying to open the road into Mallacoota, which has been cut off for a week.
To date some 2097 homes, 216 schools and other facilities and 4287 sheds and other outbuildings have been destroyed since July, according to the latest building assessment count on Saturday.
That includes 1163 homes, 144 facilities and 2179 outbuildings since New Year's Eve.