The NSW holiday road toll has risen to four after a petrol tanker driver was killed in a crash on the north coast near Ballina today.

About 12pm the tanker was travelling south on the Pacific Highway at Tintenbar, approximately 10km north of Ballina, when it lost control.

The tanker then rolled before exploding and bursting into flames, with the driver, believed to be a male, trapped inside the vehicle and dying at the scene.

Police attended the scene and an exclusion zone was put in place while NSW Fire Brigades fought the blaze.

Investigations to confirm the driver’s identity are continuing and police will prepare a report for the information of the Coroner.

Motorists have been urged to avoid the area and consider alternative routes, with the Pacific Highway closed until about 10am tomorrow.

Specialist crime scene officers remain on the scene conducting examinations before the roadway is cleared.

Police from Richmond Local Area Command are investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash and are appealing for witnesses to contact Ballina Police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.