TOTAL fire bans have been declared across much of NSW, including the greater Sydney region, where the fire danger is severe.

The fire bans have been in place since midnight (AEDT) for the far north coast, north coast, greater Hunter, greater Sydney region, Illawarra and Shoalhaven, central ranges, New England, northern slopes, northwestern and upper central west plains districts.

Severe fire weather would affect towns including Newcastle, Narrabri, Lismore and Coffs Harbour, the Rural Fire Service said yesterday.

The Bureau of Meteorology said a front would move through eastern NSW today, increasing westerly winds ahead of a strong southerly change moving up the coast.

Temperatures would drop but humidity would remain low into the evening, the bureau said.