Strong winds were continuing to play havoc with the Moonbi bushfire which was still burning out of control on Tuesday night.
NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Superintendent Allyn Purkiss said until winds calmed down, the fire would continue to burn straight towards difficult terrain that fire crews would find hard to reach.
"The winds are pushing it very quickly towards the east and is running through the Moonbi ranges, which is very difficult to control in there. It's very steep and rugged and not something we can get to very easy," he said.
"It's certainly creeping down to properties on the western side but we've got trucks at all of those.
"When that wind drops we'll be able to do something about it but until that wind drops there'll be some challenges ahead of us."
Superintendent Purkiss said this would burn "a lot of country" but "not a lot of private properties" would come under threat.
"It would head across to Danglemah Road and then keep travelling north westerly to Nundle Road and into some country and Limberi-Weabonga Road," he said.
The bushfire started near the New England Highway on Thursday morning and at 5pm was at watch and act level.
Three airborne units are in action as are numerous crews on the fireground. There are also extra crews on standby in case of further fires.
The RFS Superintendent said winds are expected to change direction at about 10pm-11pm from north westerly winds to south westerly and then change back again to north westerly tomorrow.
"It's a fairly similar wind direction but as the wind drops it'll allow us to get a better handle on it but we'll have to wait until the wind drops because it's very dangerous for firefighters to be near the front of the fire," he said.
Superintendent Purkiss said Triple Zero (000) had received many calls from people in the area seeing smoke, but there was no fire.
"If they see flames there'll be plenty of smoke but don't call unless there's fires," he said.
He also asked farmers to keep an eye on their silage and hay stacks in case of self-combustion.
"It occasionally gets quite hot and we see some self-combustion from hay or silage or the like so they need to be watched as well," Superintendent Purkiss said.
He said people needed to be vigilant in these times.
"People need to be ... aware of any fires in their area and we ask for their cooperation for any fires that might start. The RFS are all doing the best we can to bring them back under control but it takes a lot of work and communication to make sure we get the outcomes we want."