With temperatures set to surpass 40 degrees, a Total Fire Ban has been declared for Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter LGAs

WITH temperatures set to surpass 40 degrees on Thursday, a Total Fire Ban has been declared for the Greater Hunter.

The "severe" rating on January 23, due to forecast hot and windy conditions, also takes in Greater Sydney, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Southern Ranges, Central Ranges and North Western.

The Total Fire Ban, which started at midnight, covers the Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter LGAs.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) provides the following advice:

Under "severe" fire conditions

  • * Well-prepared homes that are actively defended can provide safety during a fire
  • * Follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan and remain vigilant
  • * Keep informed by listening to local radio, watching television news broadcasts and monitoring www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

The NSW RFS may also issue a Harvest Safety Alert for areas of heightened risk.

Harvest operators should monitor conditions and regularly check that they are operating within guidelines.

No fires may be lit in the open and all permits are suspended during a Total Fire Ban.

Gas and electric barbeques may be used, provided certain conditions are met.

Total Fire Ban rules and a map of current Total Fire Ban areas are listed at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

This story Hot and windy conditions forecast first appeared on Hunter Valley News.