NEW mum Erin Killion had only recently brought her three-month-old daughter Susie Jean home from hospital when the fires started.
"There was smoke in the air and I just broke down thinking 'This is her future - God damn, what have we done?'," said Ms Killion, an Extinction Rebellion Newcastle member and one of the organisers of Friday's Fund the Firies and Demand Climate Justice protest.
"These fires are what happens at one degree of warming.
"We're on track for three degrees. It's going to be a nightmare.
"She is why I'm doing what I'm doing.
"If I don't, I would not be able to live with myself.
"There are lots of parents who are feeling distressed and concerned for their children's futures and rightly so.
"We're on track for disaster and we need to pull back and do it fast. It's not too late. The scientists are saying we still have time, but we don't have much."
Ms Killion said Extinction Rebellion Newcastle had joined forces with five other organisations to host the protest from 5.30pm in Civic Park. She expects about 1000 to attend.
"We can't wait until the threat has passed to talk about the issues - it might not pass and this might be the new normal," she said.
"People are starting to realise it's upon us, there's no-one coming to our rescue.
"The aim is to build an enormous, almighty, climate movement to push the government into action, because they're not going to do it voluntarily.
"The only thing that's going to push them is the public speaking out and putting pressure on."
Ms Killion said protesters would call on the government to consult extensively with scientists and emergency leaders.
Former Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said in November he'd requested a meeting with the Prime Minister as early as April, but didn't get one.
Ms Killion said it also needed to ask for firefighting aircraft sitting unused overseas.
"The government can't in the future rely on an exhausted volunteer fire service, they're going to have to fund a professional fire fighting service."
Ms Killion said protesters also wanted rapid transition to renewables and to leave fossil fuels in the ground.
Speakers will include a woman evacuated from the Cobargo fires.