Severe fire conditions are predicted for the Greater Hunter region on Wednesday, when a total fire ban will be in place.
February 14 is Ash Wednesday this year (the beginning of Lent), and is expected to be a hot and windy day, with temperatures set to reach 40 degrees in Cessnock and Singleton.
The total fire ban will start at midnight on Wednesday, covering the Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter council areas.
Total fire bans will also be implemented in the Greater Sydney, Central Ranges, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, New England, North Western, Northern Slopes, Southern Ranges and Southern Slopes regions of NSW.
No fires may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended during a total fire ban. Gas and electric barbecues may be used provided certain conditions are met.
The NSW Rural Fire Service advises residents in these regions to prepare their homes, follow their bushfire survival plans and remain vigilant.
Keep informed by listening to local radio, watching television news broadcasts and monitoring the Fires Near Me page.
The NSW RFS may issue a Harvest Safety Alert for areas of heightened risk. Harvest operators should monitor conditions and regularly check that they are operating within guidelines.