There were several topics of discussion around the newsroom on Thursday and they all seemed to be intrinsically linked.
For much of the extremely dry, windy and hot day our photographer was on standby in case our worst fears came true and he was called to a fire.
We also visited the Maitland Slow Food Earth Markets in the afternoon, where community members had dug deep to create food boxes for drought-ravaged Upper Hunter farming families.
And we questioned (and ultimately were left scratching our heads) why the NSW Government decided to scrap Jock Laurie's position as Drought Coordinator before opening a replacement office, all while the state is in the midst of possibly the worst drought on record.
That last point certainly must be frustrating for all our local farmers who are doing everything they can to fill drought boxes for their counterparts in the drier part of the region.
These are the same farmers who are struggling themselves in these chronically trying conditions. It's making it hard to grow anything substantial.
Both levels of government have introduced measures to assist farmers who are struggling to stay afloat. But one has to question whether the politicians are listening to those people before making their decisions.
In the words of former Maitland Citizen of the Year and Slow Food Hunter Valley Earth Market chairwoman Amorelle Dempster: "They are letting people down, people who are in such a bad place and it's going to get so much worse. The uncertainty continues without the right help".
So, on a big picture scale we would ask the state government to put someone on the ground who knows and understands what these farmers are going through to make it as easy as possible for them to get help.
The farmers all talk about being swamped by red tape and not having their concerns heard, which was exemplified in the highly-anticipated Q&A drought program that fell flat in the eyes of many who attended.
It's worrying to think about, and we're not even in summer yet.
The land is turning to dust, water storage is decreasing and fire danger is climbing and we need our governments to be making the right decisions to get the country through this turmoil. The stakes are high. Lives, livelihoods, livestock, wildlife, forests and our food supply depends on it.