Firefighters are gearing up for the return of hot and dry conditions forecast to elevate bushfire risk across much of NSW.

Total fire bans have on Friday been declared for the Monaro alpine, southern ranges and southern slopes regions, while “very high” fire danger ratings are in place for much of western and southern NSW.

The Bureau of Meteorology says a heatwave is forecast to push temperatures into the mid-40s for parts of inland NSW in coming days.

The return of dangerous bushfire conditions follows a memorial service held for three American airmen killed in a firefighting plane crash in southern NSW.

Captain Ian McBeth, first officer Paul Clyde Hudson and flight engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr were killed when their water-bombing tanker crashed northeast of Cooma on January 23.

Grieving family and friends on Thursday attended a memorial service for the men at the Richmond RAAF base.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian recently announced an inquiry into the state’s bushfire crisis while stressing this season’s danger was far from over.


“While we are focused on the rebuilding process we are mindful of the remaining fire threats,” she said on Thursday.

Thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed by bushfires in NSW this summer, while 25 people have died.