The fire danger for the Hunter has eased overnight but the threat is not over, with scorching temperatures on the way tomorrow.
It has been a week of blistering weather across the region with some parts recording their highest overnight temperatures in decades.
The Fire Danger rating for the Greater Hunter has been downgraded from 'severe' to 'high' but not before a blaze broke out near the Bayswater Power Station at Muswellbrook yesterday afternoon, impacting traffic on the New England Highway.
It took 30 volunteers just two hours to extinguish the fire.
Residents are being warned the worst of the heat wave is still to come with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a daytime maximum temperature tomorrow of 43 degrees, expected to increase to 45 degrees on Saturday.
Fire Permits remain suspended in the Upper Hunter.
© ABC 2013
00:30 EDT Locals on the Cocos Islands have spent Christmas Day hunkered down in their homes, as Tropical Cyclone Kate passed just north of the tiny community more than 2,000 kilometres off the West Australian coast.