THE region's fuel load has more than doubled and fire crews are on high alert as the fire danger rating climbs higher.
Inverell Shire - as well as Moree Plains, Gwydir, Gunnedah, Liverpool Plains and Tamworth council areas - have hit the high fire danger rating two days in a row. On Wednesday, it will be high again.
Rural Fire Service (RFS) Inspector Stephen Carstens said crews were playing the waiting game for a fire to break out given the hot and sometimes windy conditions.
"It's probably the highest we've had for the season so far," he said.
"There is double the amount of fuel load on the ground, so it's quite a substantial risk."
There is double the amount of fuel load on the ground, so it's quite a substantial risk.- RFS Inspector Stephen Carstens
Crews had fears on Tuesday when the initial call came through for a truck carrying a load of hay that had caught fire, that it could take off into nearby grass on the Moonbi hills.
Fire crews were alerted about 11.45am and the Bendemeer and Kootingal RFS brigades were deployed, but luckily the truck driver managed to extinguish the blaze in the engine quickly.
Crews monitored the truck for more than an hour and used a heat sensor before it was declared safe.
"We've always got crews available, they've all had their training, the vehicles are all serviced and we're ready for it," Inspector Carstens said.
"It's the fuel load that is the biggest concern. We've had a little bit of windy weather weather and a little bit of warmer weather and the amount of fuel has doubled.
"We're prepared and we're just asking everyone to be mindful of the weather and be sensible."
As part of the high fire danger rating - which is set to last until it falls to moderate conditions on Friday - all fire permits are suspended.
The North West zone which covers Moree, Narrabri, Walgett and Warrumbungle councils will have a moderate fire danger on Wednesday before returning to a high fire danger on Thursday.
The New England fire zone covers the Walcha, Uralla, Armidale, Glen Innes and Tenterfield shires and has a moderate fire danger rating up until Friday.