5.30PM UPDATE: Tomorrow has been declared a day of total fire ban in the North East and Riverina as Albury's emergency and health authorities discuss their battle plan for a day of high danger.
Albury and the Riverina are on their highest fire alert since the December day in 2009 that brought the firestorm that ravaged Gerogery.
Local government areas of Albury, Greater Hume, Corowa and Berrigan are under the severe fire warning.
Today, fire authorities met with police, councils, health officials and the Department of Primary Industries to speak about the severe fire conditions.
Tomorrow has been earmarked as the most worrying day of the year so far.
It’s forecast to be hot with a maximum of 39 degrees (downgraded from 41 this afternoon), a forest and grass danger rating over 50 and relative humidity of just nine.
But then there's the wind — a westerly of 35 to 50km/h — the element that’s really bumped up the fire risk.
Inspector Marg Wehner, of the Rural Fire Service, said while the Gerogery inferno was marked by wind between 70 and 100km/h, temperatures tomorrow would be about four degrees hotter.
She said there had also been a run of dry weather, and that combined with a few more hot days, could see sparks roar into a raging fire with little difficulty.
“We’re looking at four weeks of hot, dry weather which means there’s very little residual moisture,” Ms Wehner said.
As much as the officials can weigh up the risks, it’s impossible to predict if there will actually be a fire; tomorrow could pass without major incident.
Ms Wehner said all they could do was get ready for the worst-case scenario.
“It seems to be a bit like Murphy’s law, what you do seems to have an influence,” she said.
“The one thing about being prepared is if it does happen it’s not unexpected but if you’re not prepared it’s a total whitewash.”
There is a similar attitude of preparedness at Victoria’s Country Fire Authority.
At the Corryong incident control centre, operations officer Mark Owens said they were hoping volunteers would have today to rest for whatever tomorrow throws at them.
That’s unless lightning strikes have them again rushing around the countryside.