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EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: As fire fighters and residents in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney are bracing for a day of extreme fire danger, authorities are warning that tomorrow could be the worst day of the bushfire emergency so far with wind gusts up to 100km/h. As schools and other facilities are shut across the mountains, the NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says the situation facing fire fighters tomorrow could be the most dangerous he's seen in his career. John Stewart reports.

JOHN STEWART, REPORTER: Milder conditions and a light rain allowed fire fighters to increase back burning operations throughout the Blue Mountains.

The major towns have been circled with controlled fires, creating a buffer zone for tomorrow. Wind conditions are expected to worsen with high winds and extreme fire danger.

SHANE FITZSIMMONS, RURAL FIRE SERVICE COMMISSIONER: On days like tomorrow there is every real potential we could see more homes lost and more lives lost but what I sincerely hope is that is not the case. We've been planning for this, we have built for this, we've tried everything we can to retard the forward spread of these fires.

JOHN STEWART: Two major fires have now merged. The Mount Victoria fire and State Mine fire near Lithgow have been brought together by fire fighters to help contain them. Residents at Blackheath are grateful for the 1,400 fire fighters who have been working to reduce fuel in the mountains and starve the fires of timber.

CRAIG WARD, RESIDENT: It's not much I can do if they tell us to evacuate, we'll go, you know. We've packed everything that's important to us and, you know, can just watch and if they tell us to go we're going.

STEVE AINSWORTH, RESIDENT: It's a bit of a worry. It is going away from us though. It's probably a good thing, it is ominous but it's a good thing for them to be doing today because tomorrow could be heaps worse.

JOHN STEWART: After last week's loss of more than 200 homes, some residents will go but others will stay.

CHRIS WEST, RESIDENT: Well, we've been preparing for six to 12 months now and it's not a matter of if it's going to happen it's just when it's going to happen and as you can see we're in no danger at all.

JOHN STEWART: From a layman's perspective you're sitting on a hill and lots of smoke.

CHRIS WEST: We've got 70 metres to the house. Sprinkler, big dam - no problem.

JOHN STEWART: And while fire fighters appeared to have the upper hand authorities are warning residents to leave early if they have any concerns for their safety and not to wait for help.

SHANE FITZSIMMONS: We will do everything we can but it would be wrong of me to provide a guarantee that we will deliver on providing a truck to every home, a message to every person. It is simply something we cannot guarantee but we will do our absolute darnedest to make sure we can.

JOHN STEWART: Tomorrow 25 schools throughout the Blue Mountains will be closed. Along with kindergartens, child care centres and nursing homes. Authorities are urging people who do not need to be in the mountains to stay away.

SHANE FITZSIMMONS: The forecast and scenario for tomorrow is about as bad as it gets. With these extreme fire danger ratings we don't want people leaving decisions to the last minute.

JOHN STEWART: The fires in NSW are being noticed overseas. A senior UN climate change official says that global warming is creating dangerous hot conditions in countries like Australia.

CHRISTIANA FIGUERES, EXEC. SECRETARY UN CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: The WMO, world meteorological organisation has not established the direct link between this wildfire and climate change yet. But what is absolutely clear is the science is telling us that there are increasing heatwaves in Asia, Europe and Australia. That these will continue, that they will continue in their intensity and in their frequency.

JOHN STEWART: Christiana Figueres also slammed the Coalition Government for planning to remove a price on carbon and said the Government's direct action policy would end up costing taxpayers more than the carbon tax.

CHRISTIANA FIGUERES: They're going to have to pay a very high political price and high financial price because the road that they are choosing to get to the same target that the previous government had could be much more expensive for them and for the population.

JOHN STEWART: The Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, says the bushfire crisis should not be politicised.