Video provided by Nine News
With firefighters continuing the battle to save lives and homes, now is not the time to be talking about the impact of climate change, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian insists.
Fires across the state have claimed three lives and so far destroyed more than 150 homes.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the weekend dodged questions over whether the unprecedented fires were linked to climate change while Ms Berejiklian added a terse "honestly not today" when reporters raised the issue.
She maintained that line on Monday, saying it was an "inappropriate" time to talk about it.
"I thought it was inappropriate that people were trying to talk about climate change yesterday when people wanted to stay alive," Ms Berejiklian told the Seven Network.
The premier was subsequently pressed on the issue again on ABC TV when told residents in fire-hit areas were concerned about global warming.
"There's no doubt that there's extreme weather conditions which have contributed to the fire conditions, conditions we've not seen before," she said.
"There's no doubt we're seeing hotter temperatures and longer summers and more extreme weather conditions but our first and foremost priority is to keep people alive at this stage."
© AAP Image/Peter RaeNSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says questions about the links between climate change and the state's unprecedented bushfires are 'inappropriate'.
Glen Innes Severn Council mayor Carol Sparks - whose home was severely damaged in a bushfire that killed two people - said the prime minister's response when asked about climate change was "unbelievable".
"It's climate change, there's no doubt about it. The whole of the country is going to be affected. We need to take a serious look at our future," she told AAP.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack backed Mr Morrison's stance on Monday, labelling the behaviour of those linking the fires to climate change as "disgraceful" and "disgusting".
But Ms Sparks told ABC: "It's not a political thing - it's a scientific fact."
"Of course it's not relevant at the moment when people's houses are burning and you've lost lives and you've lost friends and you've lost family," the mayor said.
"But the overall thing is we are so dry in this country - we haven't had rain for years in some places. We need to look at what we're going to do about that in the future.
"To deny climate change is, to me, a very ill-informed and uneducated way of looking at things."