Maitland RSL Sub-Branch president Eric Bell said there was a double obligation at Monday's Remembrance Day service in Maitland Park.
He said the day was a time to acknowledge those who gave their lives for their country in World War I, but also a chance to think of firefighters risking their lives in severe bushfires right now.
"I just thought this morning we might take the time to remember the state our country is in," Mr Bell said.
"Bushfires are raging right up the eastern seaboard. Fires are rampant in Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria's got a few and I heard on the news this morning there's something like 4,500 volunteers from RFS and fire brigades.
"So as we come together to remember the war of 100 years ago, I invite you to remember the war that's going on now - the war of nature. We remember those who are giving their time - many of them are losing time at their place of work. We remember those who have been killed in the fires, we remember the many more who have been injured and burnt.
"Today I think we have a double obligation, to remember those who've fallen and remember our current situation and those who are fighting the fires."
Royal Australian Air Force Leading Aircraftman Lawson Alick also spoke about the effects nature had on soldiers on the Western Front.
"In that place the waste of human life was so terrible that some said victory was scarcely discernible from defeat," he said.
"The enemies faced by the troops were not limited to the opposition force, nature itself played a terrible part.
"The winter of 1916 was one of the worst on record. Troops had to survive with only two blankets each. Often water rations were received as blocks of ice and soldiers faced a possibility of waking in the morning with their eyelids frozen shut.
LAC Alick said the loss of life in WWI would be "unendurable" in today's society.
"Australia's all-volunteer force enlisted 300,000 men from a total population of less than five million. Of these 300,000, 60,000 died in the Great War, with three quarters of them dying on the Western Front.
"As the guns fell silent 101 years ago, the survivors described the carnage as the war to end all wars. Yes, history has proven us wrong. The debt we owe the fallen of World War I is for our society to learn that winning the peace is as important as winning the war."