The Hunter may have been spared the worst of the nation's horrific bushfire season up until now, but the danger period is far from over.
Many parts of southern NSW remain on edge after blazes tore through towns and bushland in recent weeks. Before that, huge swathes of the state's north burned at the start of what many have called an unprecedented bushfire season.
There were a couple of instances in November where fires threatened Hunter towns, however the region has not experienced the same devastation as those places to the north and south.
But Hunter RFS spokesperson Leanne Bell says the region is not out of the woods, with crews continuing to work on several fires in the Coalfields and the area north of Dungog.
She said recent rain made fire trails slippery and storms this week brought about the added risk of lightning strikes possibly sparking flare-ups or new blazes. In one case this week, Ms Bell said firefighters first thought the blaze at Mount Royal had spotted over the containment line - they soon discovered that was not the case, but lightning had struck.
"The rain put us back a couple of days," she said.
"It's made the tracks really slippery for the trucks to drive on, so we'll let them dry out. We'll be reviewing what we thought we were going to back-burn and see whether we still need to do that and whether we can now move onto the next sections we need to deal with."
Temperatures in Newcastle are expected to remain in the 20s from today and into next week, except Thursday when a top of 32 is predicted.
Maitland is expected to reach 35 on Wednesday and 36 on Thursday, while Muswellbrook looks set for 35 on Tuesday and 36 on Wednesday and Thursday.
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