FIRE conditions in some parts of the state - including Armidale - will be one step below catastrophic tomorrow, leading to an extended and expanded total fire ban.
The forecast continues to be for hot and windy conditions, so the ban will stretch into the Greater Hunter, North Coast and Far North Coast fire areas on Friday.
The NSW Rural Fire Service has notified people in those areas they are forbidden to light fires in the open from midnight tonight.
The total fire ban today in the New England, Northern Slopes and North Western zones will go into day 2.
Three of tomorrow's affected zones are listed as being at an extreme risk of fire - one step below the RFS rating of catastrophic.
They include the Northern Slopes, which takes in Tamworth, Gunnedah, Gwydir, Inverell and the Liverpool Plains council areas; and the New England, which takes in Armidale, Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha council areas.
Under extreme conditions, the RFS urges people whose houses come under attack from a fire to "only consider staying if you are prepared to the highest level".
The RFS says leaving early is always the safest option, however.