The Bates brothers' Rally Australia hopes have gone up in smoke after the event was cancelled due to the destructive fires tearing through the northeast of NSW.
Harry and Lewis Bates were slated to compete in the event after organisers proposed a revised, shortened route for the final round of the World Rally Championship.
But officials aborted the biggest event on Australia's rally calendar as the Coffs Harbour region braced for extreme fire danger.
Hundreds of schools were closed and residents urged to evacuate woodlands as 50 fires blazed across NSW and the provincial government declared a week-long state of emergency.
Rally Australia chairman Andrew Papadopoulos said the cancellation was the only course available, considering the safety of the more than 1000 people involved as officials, competitors and in support roles for the event that was due to start Thursday.
"It's not appropriate to conduct the rally," Papadopoulos said.
"Our thoughts are with the NSW community, especially the people who have lost loved ones, livelihoods and homes as a result of the fires."
Harry Bates was due to partner John McCarthy while Lewis had linked up with Anthony McLoughlin for the event.
However expectations of adverse heat and wind conditions to peak at unprecedented levels on Tuesday saw the race cancelled.
"The cancellation today comes after extensive consultation with the NSW Government, the FIA, emergency services and the local community," Rally Australia tweeted.
The WRC drivers' championship had already been decided October 28 when Estonian driver Ott Tanak clinched the title in his Toyota by placing second in the Rally of Spain.
- With AAP.