IT WAS a hazy start to Thursday around Tamworth and Gunnedah.
Smoke from fires burning in the region's north hitched a ride a south and blanketed parts of the region.
But there was one positive to come out of it for NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Liverpool District manager Myles O'Reilly.
"If there is a positive, it is a useful reminder that fire is not that far away," he said.
YESTERDAY EVENING COMPARED TO TODAY
Fires at Bees Nest and Kingsgate continue to rage through more than 120,000 hectares of land near Guyra and Glen Innes.
There was also an under control bush fire listed in the Oxley Wild Rivers park east of Tamworth.
On Thursday afternoon, Armidale had recorded the poorest air quality readings in the state.
The state government listed Armidale's air quality index at a hazardous 206. Tamworth's air was the next worst with an air quality index reading of 86 at lunchtime.
Gunnedah's reading was 31.
Temperatures are beginning to creep up in the region with Gunnedah tipped reach 31 degrees on Saturday.
Tamworth is predicted to hit 30 on Saturday before settling into the high-20s through next week.
The top temperatures are tipped to stay in the high-20s through next week.
It comes with a timely reminder from the RFS for people to get bushfire plans in place.
While northern parts of the state have endured a horrific start to the fire season, the Liverpool Range has been relatively untouched.
It comes down to preparation and "a degree of luck", Mr O'Reilly said.
"The Liverpool Range, touch wood, has been pretty good," he said.
There was 450 hectare fire in the area last week, which the RFS contained with the help of National Parks and Wildlife.
He said there could be more hazard reduction burns on the agenda in the coming weeks.
Gunnedah RFS crews recently completed a complex burn at Porcupine Hill.
"We have had a couple of hazard reductions," he said.
"One of those was quite complex in the Gunnedah area at the Porcupine lookout.
"That was in the planning about 12 months, when the conditions were appropriate to conduct the burn, we patrolled for a couple of extra days and examined the area with a thermal camera to ensure all hot spots were extinguished before handing back to council."