Only a few days after catastrophic conditions swept through the Hunter, the Rural Fire Service is preparing for what is expected to be deteriorating weather on Friday.
While the forecast is not for the same level of bushfire danger as crews fought on Tuesday, hot, dry and windy weather is predicted to increase the threat leading into the weekend, with firefighters expecting that a severe fire rating could be on the cards for the Hunter Region.
A top temperature of 35 degrees is forecast for Maitland, Cessnock, Singleton and much of the Coalfields on Friday - a high of 32 degrees is predicted for Newcastle - with winds coming from the north-west and west-north-west.
RFS Lower Hunter operations officer Terry Burns said he was expecting a severe fire danger rating for the region on Friday, as well as a continuing total fire ban.
"The temps are up, the winds are up and the humidity is down," he told the Newcastle Herald.
"At this stage we hope for the best and hopefully we don't have any more fires out there."
RFS crews in the Lower Hunter were kept busy on Tuesday with two major fires that threatened homes in the Coalfields towns of North Rothbury and Greta - each rating at 'emergency warning' level throughout the afternoon.
The North Rothbury blaze damaged three homes but firefighters were able to stop the Greta inferno from reaching houses.
The Greta fire, near Harper Street, flared on Wednesday afternoon and was briefly elevated to 'watch and act' level as crews worked on it.
According to RFS data, the North Rothbury fire had been extinguished by Thursday and the Greta fire had been contained and was listed at 'advice' level.
"Greta, we had four trucks on it this [Thursday] morning - they're still out there now," Mr Burns said.
"They've just been doing little hot spots - smoking embers that sort of thing - putting those out, especially with the weather tomorrow.
"We've had trucks out there since it started. Into tomorrow's weather, we're going to organise further patrols so we can continue to keep it in hand."
A state of emergency, announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian earlier this week, will continue until Monday.
It gives the RFS special authority to allow the agency to deal with serious bushfire conditions more effectively.
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here.
IN THE NEWS