WITH a "Severe" fire danger rating declared in the Greater Hunter tomorrow, the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) predicts Kerry Ridge bushfire activity is likely to increase throughout the day.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast 42 and 41 degrees in the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter LGAs on Tuesday, December 31, and Wednesday, January 1, respectively; while the Singleton LGA can expect 43 and 38.
This means the Kerry Ridge blaze, which has burnt out more than 128,200 hectares of the Wollemi National Park, Nullo Mountain State Forest, Coricudgy State Forest, Putty State Forest and private property within the Mid-Western Regional, Muswellbrook Shire and Singleton LGAs, could become uncontrollable and unpredictable again.
"Volunteers from the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) - supported by out of area strike teams, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, water-bombing aircraft and earth-moving machinery - are working on establishing and consolidating containment lines to reduce any further impact to the surrounding communities," a NSW RFS spokesperson said.
"Kerry Ridge continues to remain most active in the vicinity of rural properties along Growee Road and Cox Creek Road (to the north).
"Fire progression is being monitored by aircraft and ground crews, with earth-moving machinery working to implement additional property preparation measures.
"Rural liaison officers have also been deployed to these areas to speak with residents and landholders on the current and predicated situation.
"Locals, as well as those at Reedy Creek Road, Coxs Crown and Breakfast Creek, should remain vigilant and monitor the situation, too.
"To the north, the fire continues to progress towards Widden, Baerami Creek and Martindale.
"Earth-moving machinery is operating in these areas to consolidate perimeter trails as well.
"If you are in the vicinity of this fire, stay up to date on bushfires in your area by checking the NSW RFS website (www.rfs.nsw.gov.au), listening to your local radio station or by phoning the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737."
Road closures include:
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