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The Rural Fire Service says the four hour period from 2pm today (November 12) will be critical in the battle to contain a series of bushfires burning across the Mid-North Coast.
There are some 300 to 400 firefighters on the ground working on containment and other firefighting strategies.
Local crews have been boosted with support from across the state, nationally and internationally.
The RFS has a simple message: Think about the conditions.
RFS district officer Stuart Robb said today's conditions will put villages at risk.
"These conditions will be similar or worse to those we have seen over the past week," he said.
"Fires will start easily and spread rapidly.
"The safest option is to leave on the morning of a bad fire weather day.
"Our peak fire period is from around 2pm until 6pm tonight."
Weather conditions are likely to create a perfect storm with winds affecting fires on either side of the highway.
Fires on the east of the Pacific Highway will feature predominately north easterly winds combined with higher humidity. This will impact the Lindfield Park Road, Crestwood/Lake Cathie fires and the Crowdy fire.
On the western side of the highway, we will see predominately north westerly winds with lower humidity - down to single digits - particularly in the Manning area. This has the potential to impact fires at Gum Scrub, Ballengarra, Coombes Gap Complex and Stockyard East and Carrai East.
"There is a potentially southerly change to come through late in the evening across the Mid-North Coast," Mr Robb said.
The critical point will be this afternoon where the fire conditions will be at their peak.Stuart Robb
"The critical point will be this afternoon where the fire conditions will be at their peak.
"People need to assess the current fires on the landscape that have the potential to breach containment lines this afternoon.
"If you are in the area of these current fires, the risk is that under the expected conditions, it will put villages at risk.
"Given the conditions, leave early," he said.
The RFS reiterated the message that people in the area need to remain vigilant.
There are large sections of unburnt vegetation with in containment lines across many fire grounds. It is expected that as the Fire Danger Index rises, these fire are likely become active again. This will increase 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.
It is important to keep up to date. Download the Fires Near Me app and set up a watch area. This will push info to about new fires as well as major fire updates
There will never be as many fire trucks as there are houses, Mr Robb said.
"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."
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