A photo of a native Australian bird overlooking an area burnt by bushfires has been shared thousands of times online.

The kookaburra was seen perched over a branch in the smoke-filled area in Wallabi Point in New South Wales.

The photo was taken by resident Adam Stevenson when he returned to the area after being evacuated four days earlier.

He said he saw a lot of injured wildlife while out walking after returning to his neighbourhood on Monday.

"We came very close to losing our street," Mr Stevenson said.

Bushfires are common in Australia's hot, dry summers, but the ferocity and early arrival of the fires in the southern spring this year has caught many by surprise.

The blazes have claimed three lives and destroyed about 2.5 million acres of farmland and bush, fuelled by extremely dry conditions after three years of drought, which experts say has been exacerbated by climate change.

Australian officials ordered people in several communities to evacuate immediately today as firefighters struggled to contain more than 150 bushfires raging across the east coast.

While cooler weather overnight brought some relief for firefighters in New South Wales state, attention shifted to its northern neighbour, Queensland, where hot, dry and windy conditions brought severe fire danger.

Authorities issued a "leave immediately" warning, the highest level, for several areas including Noosa, a beachside holiday destination 150km north of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland.

"Conditions are now very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent the fire advancing," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) said.

"The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path."

The blaze in Noosa is one of more than 80 fires across Queensland, leaving firefighters stretched.