A RAPID-response team of volunteers has been put on standby as the RFS braces for dangerous bushfire conditions today.
The North West will feel the heat, with a severe fire danger in place for the Moree and Narrabri areas, while the New England and Northern Slopes will contend with a very high fire danger.
All local areas have come under total fire bans, which cover about two-thirds of the state.
Namoi Gwydir zone Rural Fire Service (RFS) Inspector Brett Loughlin said all staff had been centralised, to help combat any outbreaks.
“We have crews that are on call if needed,” he said.
“We have spoken to our firefighting partners in Forestry, National Parks and Wildlife, and Fire and Rescue NSW.
“And we had a bushfire management committee meeting (yesterday), where we discussed our fire agency plans.”
Moree is forecast to hit 35 degrees today, with winds gusting up to 55km/h and low humidity.
“We’re looking at four or five days of pretty ordinary weather from now,” Inspector Loughlin said.
“The saving grace seems to be there aren’t any thunderstorms forecast.”
The Sydney, Greater Hunter and Illawarra areas will battle an extreme fire danger today – the second-highest danger rating.
Tamworth RFS Superintendent Allyn Purkiss said recruits had been called in, in preparation of heading south if needed.
“They could be immediately called to areas around Scone and the Upper Hunter which have an extreme fire danger,” he said.
“About 20 volunteers currently from Tamworth are on standby and that may increase, depending on crews.”
Tamworth is expected to hit 34 degrees, with low humidity and winds gusting up to 55km/h.
All fire permits have been suspended across the region and some outdoor jobs have been banned.
“Works that include soldering, welding, grinding or gas-cutting, and any work that might generate sparks, are banned and cannot be carried out in the open,” Superintendent Purkiss said.
“Harvesting and driving machinery is allowed but must be used with caution.”
All open fires are banned, as are campfires and any gas barbecues that are away from homes. Any smoke sightings should be reported to triple-0 immediately.