Only rain will save the bushfires engulfing the Illawarra's outskirts, from spreading to the region, says fire expert Dr Owen Price.
And he agrees with his University of Wollongong colleague Ross Bradstock that blaming the "greenies" for the worst fires in NSW recorded history, was ridiculous.
Critics claim the "greenies" get in the way of hazard reduction efforts that might have reduced the size and scale of the disaster.
Prof Bradstock, the director of the centre for environmental risk management of bushfires at UOW said "these are very tired and very old conspiracy theories that get a run after most major fires."
In a recent article for The Conversation, Prof Bradstock added that "these unprecedented fires are an indication that a much-feared future under climate change may have arrived earlier than predicted".
This view was shared by Associate Professor Price, who told the Mercury "this is the worst fires we've had in NSW in recorded history and the impacts are going to stay with us for a long time."
Dr Price, a Senior Research Fellow with UOW's Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires, said it didn't make sense to blame "Green policies" for this disaster.
"Bottom line is, the drought is the reason and the whole landscape is just primed to go," he said.
"The way that we approach it and the way the authorities generally approach it is a risk based approach, which essentially says yeah hazard reduction burning has got a place.
"It does definitely reduce risk but it is not a panacea and it is not practical to do the amount of hazard reduction burning that would be required to reduce the risks to minimal levels.
"It has just got to be one of the things you do. You can't stop [bushfire disaster] happening. This is a natural force.
"Hazard reduction burning can give you a temporary reduction of fuels which is quite useful. But it is only temporary, and we've had examples in these recent fires of areas re-burning after a year or two."
Dr Price said the Illawarra needed to be on high alert.
"It is quite stark that the Woronora Plateau is the only major area of forest in NSW that hasn't burnt yet. I can't imagine there is any particular reason other than chance," he said.
"I think if it doesn't rain soon, it is a definite possibility that will burn. There was an active fire recently near Bargo and Mittagong which was heading across the Woronora Plateau but they managed to stop it at the Hume Highway.
"I think that could have been really high risk for us if they hadn't stopped it. The fact most of the plateau is off limits to people...might have been one of the things that saved it."