FIREFIGHTERS from all pockets of the region are preparing this morning to take on the unfolding bushfire emergencies across the state.
Fire and Rescue NSW is gathering its biggest firefighting force in history and will send trucks laden with firefighters south to help battle the raging infernos.
It comes after RFS crews answered an SOS call for help and deployed about 100 local volunteers to bushfire zones.
Strike teams made of volunteers headed south yesterday in convoys of tankers and support trucks preparing to backburn to help ease the bushfire crisis.
About 55 volunteers from the Northern Tablelands and New England areas took off yesterday bound for the Blue Mountains.
New England RFS Superintendent Steve Meppham said they had enough volunteers to deploy six trucks to work night and day.
“They left (yesterday) and will work the next three days which are supposed to be bad days in Sydney,” he said.
“And we’ll look at rotating crews in anticipation after that.”
Volunteers from Moree, Narrabri, Gwydir and Gilgandra brigades headed further south to Penrith yesterday where they will be deployed where they are most needed.
North West RFS Inspector Brett Loughlin said it was a mammoth task to pull together a team so quickly but everyone was willing to help.
“We’re really proud of the volunteers given that it’s peak time in harvest and it’s peak season out here,” he said.
“These are all people that have given up their work and time.
“And I can’t praise their employers and their families for letting them go, because that’s businesses without a staff member or children without their father or mother for a few days.”
But the extra deployment had to be carefully considered.
While many parts of the state are battling to save property from an inferno, the fire danger back home still remains.
The temperatures are creeping up into the 30s in many parts today with wind gusts up to 50km/h expected to hit tomorrow.
“Given that it’s so dry and the potential in our area for fire, we had to be careful that what we did send down there wasn’t at our own detriment,” Inspector Loughlin said.
It’s a similar case across the region.
A strike team of a dozen or so volunteers left on Saturday from Tamworth.
They’re battling to help contain the Hungerford Rd blaze in the Wollemi National Park near Singleton, as well as the Blackjack Mountain bushfire.
With fatigue and the growing emergency in the Hunter and Greater Western Sydney districts, Tamworth RFS Superintendent Allyn Purkiss said they have to keep thinking ahead.
“We have another strike team preparing to leave (today),” he said.
“The team that is down there already is carrying out back-burning operations to deepen the control lines.”
They’ll be working alongside volunteers from the Liverpool Range RFS.
Inspector Chris Hopton said 11 locals left on Saturday bound for the Muswellbrook area, while strike teams were being gathered to moved today and Friday.
“We’re sending what we can, as we can,” he said.