THE New England Highway remains a no-go zone between Tamworth and Uralla after fire ripped through the Moonbi Ranges.
It's one of the busiest roads in the country, but the only traffic on Wednesday was firefighters scrambling to tackle the blaze, and emergency service personnel working to clean up the debris that littered the roadway.
The closure has left trucking companies, and businesses stranded, as heavy loads and goods sit idle on the road.
Police said it's too unsafe for motorists to be on the road, because of the risk of falling trees.
"At the New England Highway, trees and large boulders have become unstable due to the fire," Tamworth Regional Council emergency manager Murray Russell said.
"These need to be assessed and rectified before the highway can be safely reopened, so the highway is expected to remain closed until midday Thursday."
The traffic trying to get north and south around the highway road block flooded the surrounding roads, forcing more closures on Wednesday.
"We don't want trees falling on cars and people, safety is the priority," Oxley highway patrol Sergeant Michael Buko said.
"We have road blocks in for a reason; they are there to protect motorists, locals and emergency service personnel, and substantial fines apply and loss of demerit points, if people disobey the rules and enter a closed road.
"It's an upsetting time for people losing their houses and properties, but we're there to make sure no one is injured or seriously hurt by falling trees and fires."
Traffic trying to find alternative routes via Danglemah Road or Halls Creek Roads, were cut off on Wednesday.
"The roads are not fit to carry a detour of highway volume traffic," Mr Russell said.
"They will remain closed to all but local traffic, until the highway reopens."
Drivers headed north were being urged to travel through Barraba and Bundarra. From there, motorists can drive back east to Uralla, Armidale or Guyra, or head north to Inverell.
The bushfires have also closed the Oxley Highway between Walcha and Wauchope; the Thunderbolts Way in the Nowendoc, Barrington and Bretti areas; and the Gwydir Highway in parts between Glen Innes and Grafton.
See all the events from the day in our live blog.