The NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons visited the Club Taree evacuation centre on Sunday, November 10 for a press conference with Prime Minister Scott Morrisson and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday, November 12.
Mr Fitzsimmons could not emphasise clearly enough how catastrophic fire conditions could be on Tuesday, November 12.
"We've got a log way to go yet. We are particularly concerned about the weather that's been forecast right across parts of NSW for Tuesday. The indications are weather conditions will be worse that what we experencied right throughout northern NSW only a few days ago," Mr Fitzsimmons said.
"We will do our very best to save and protect everbody and everything we can."
The NSW RFS is advising that fire conditions could become worse in the coming days and are asking to people to remain vigilant.
A statewide total fire ban has been declared for all areas of NSW for Monday, November 11 and Tuesday, November 12 due to dangerous fire conditions.
"We are expecting fire conditions on Tuesday (November 12) to be similar or worse than those experienced on Friday (November 8)," Stuart Robb from the NSW RFS said. "The risk of the current fires flaring and breaching containment is real. People in the area need to remain vigilant over coming days but be aware that the risk on Tuesday is greater than we have seen to date."
According to the RFS, there are large sections of unburnt vegetation within containment lines across many fire grounds and it's expected that as the fire danger index rises, these fires are likely become active again, increasing the risk of breaches of containment.
"Even if your plan is to leave early, the more you prepare your home, the more likely it will survive a bush fire or ember attack. A well prepared home can also be easier for you or firefighters to defend, and is less likely to put your neighbours' homes at risk. A well prepared home will also give you more protection if a fire threatens suddenly and you cannot leave," Mr Robb explained.
It is important to keep up to date, which can be done by downloading the Fires Near Me app and setting up a watch area. This will push information to you about new fires as well as major fire updates.
"There will never be as many fire trucks as there are houses. We do have a lot of resources moving across fire grounds, but these have been stretched. Do not depend on a fire truck being available at your home. Preparation is the key," he said.
Multi-agency firefighting arrangements continue across all fire grounds in the Mid Coast and Port Macquarie Hastings Local Government Areas. Emergency service partners and firefighting agencies are working closely to coordinate support for fire affected communities.
"We thank the community for their ongoing support and patience as the fire emergency continues. As the weather continues to deteriorate, it is likely that the disruptions will continue and this may include road closures, effects on power and telecommunications infrastructure. We can assure the community that we are working hard to restore normality to the community.
"The safest option is to leave on the morning of a bad fire weather day."