That was the word in every conversation between emergency services personnel in Lithgow yesterday as they counted down the hours to the soaring temperatures and strong winds expected tomorrow.
Preventing three fires in the Lithgow, Mount Victoria, Springwood areas from joining up and creating the biggest fire emergency ever seen in the Blue Mountains.
Preventing fires that have already blackened 48,000 hectares and destroyed more than 200 houses from burning, like a giant fuse, down through the lower Blue Mountains into more densely populated areas north and west of Sydney.
As evacuees from the fires along the Bells Line of Road registered at Lithgow Workies Club, columns of smoke rose over the town, but there was little chance that rain would halt the fire's relentless march.
The next two days will be critical in both planning and preparation, with the threat easing at Clarence and Dargan and the focus shifting from reactive firefighting to proactive fire suppression.
Bell and Bilpin were still high risk areas late yesterday and the scene of major backburning operations.
In Orange, the Canobolas Zone Fire Control headquarters has become a staging post for brigades from western NSW.
Assets and infrastructure officer Steve Smith said there were still 12 local firefighters battling the blazes in the Blue Mountains with more on standby today.
"It will be ongoing over the next few weeks and if the fires do join up it'll cover most of the Blue Mountains," he said.
"We're the forward staging area for deployment and we'll go when and where required," he said.
Aiding the crews already present are strike forces from the Victorian Country Fire Authority, the ACT National Parks and Wildlife service, and Tasmanian Incident Management.