A TOTAL fire ban has been declared for the region today due to forecast hot and windy conditions.
The ban affects the fire weather areas of the Northern Slopes and North Western districts and will remain in place until midnight tonight.
Late yesterday, the New England zone also suspended all fire permits after posting a very high fire danger
rating for the Armidale, Guyra, Uralla and Walcha local government areas.
Until the ban is lifted, all permits have been suspended.
Tamworth Rural Fire Service Superintendent Allyn Purkiss asked residents for their co-operation.
“... If they could consider putting off, just for the day, ignition sources such as welding, grinding, slashing or mowing that could cause a spark,” he said.
Meanwhile fire crews have contained a bushfire burning about 55km south-east of Walcha in the Yarrowitch area. The fire, which started on Thursday, threatened homes and burnt 458ha of bushland.
Crews took advantage of yesterday’s favourable weather conditions to backburn and strengthen containment lines and will patrol the area again today, New England RFS public liaison officer Bronwyn Waters said.