The Rural Fire Service has urged Hunter residents not to underestimate the region's bushfire risk as another day of horror conditions approaches.
NSW RFS district manager for Lower Hunter Superintendent Martin Siemsen said the region was suffering from the same bone dry conditions as the South Coast, which has been decimated by fire.
Those bushfires have already destroyed more than 300 homes, seven people have died and there have been mass evacuations.
He warned there was no guarantee that the Hunter would be immune from similar widespread blazes.
The mercury is tipped to hit 45 degrees in Maitland on Saturday and 44 degrees in Cessnock and Dungog.
"They've had some extraordinary wind events associated with their weather and that is what has driven a lot of the fires, with the other determining factors being terrain, dryness, temperatures, and wind," Superintendent Siemsen said.
We're very lucky we haven't had those strong winds, but if we do get those strong winds, I can't guarantee that it wouldn't replicate up here.
"There is every chance because of our dryness and the amount of bushfire prone area that we have."
A lightning storm between Singleton and Dungog on Wednesday night is believed to have ignited remote bushland. Firefighters won't know how many new fires have started until the wind picks up on Saturday.
There is still too much smoke in the sky to be able to see the fires from the air.
Superintendent Siemsen told residents to prepare their properties on Friday and be ready to enact their bushfire survival plan on Saturday.
The five large blazes already burning in the region could breach containment lines on Saturday and embers are seen as a major concern.
"We are in a precarious and dangerous time. The situation here is still dangerous enough that people need to be wary of what is going on," he said.