With conditions set to worsen, catastrophic fire danger is forecast for the Greater Hunter

WITH conditions set to worsen over the coming days, catastrophic fire danger is now forecast for the Greater Hunter.

The region will experience the highest possible level on Tuesday, November 12, when maximum temperatures are expected to hit 38 degrees and wind speeds up to 40 kilometres per hour.

Low humidity also comes into play, too.

"Catastrophic is the highest level of bush fire danger," a NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) spokesperson said.

"Homes are not designed to withstand a fire under these conditions.

"If a fire starts and takes hold during 'catastrophic danger' conditions, lives and homes will be at risk."

Large areas of the state are also predicted to experience severe and extreme fire danger.

This includes the North Coast and northern NSW, where there are a large number of blazes already burning.

These fires will not be contained in time and will threaten lives and properties.

Based on latest forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the following ratings have been declared on Tuesday.

* Catastrophic - Greater Sydney and Greater Hunter (including the Blue Mountains and Central Coast areas)

* Extreme - North Coast, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Central Ranges, Northern Slopes and North Western

* Severe - Far North Coast, New England, Far South Coast, Southern Ranges, Lower Central West Plains

Advice for people in areas of catastrophic fire danger include:

* Avoid bush fire prone areas. A safer area may be a large town or city, shopping centres or facilities well away from bushland areas;

* Schools in identified high risk areas will be closed. Schools will notify affected students. Start making arrangements now; and

* If you are unable to leave, identify a safe location which may be nearby. This may include a Neighbourhood Safer Place.

The statewide total fire ban is in place for all areas of NSW for Monday and Tuesday.