The ACT is planning for a "worst-case scenario" where the territory may not be able to rely on interstate help during a bushfire emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Volunteer firefighters in Canberra have also raised fears about being forced to quarantine if they attend interstate fires.
The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements heard on Wednesday about the impact COVID-19 could have on the upcoming bushfire season.
While the season officially begins on October 1, several local government areas in NSW start their bushfire danger period on August 1.
ACT Emergency Services Agency Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said the territory was scenario-planning for how they would respond during the upcoming bushfire and storm season while complying with social distancing restrictions.
While the ESA had still been able to maintain a level of intake and training during the pandemic, they were planning for the possibility they would not be able to draw resources from interstate because of quarantine restrictions.
"We are planning for the worst case scenario," Commissioner Whelan said.
Acting chief officer of the ACT Rural Fire Service Rohan Scott said brigades had been given spray-and-wipe for their vehicles and asked to clean them before and after use.
Members have been issued with their own radios and told not to use a vehicle radio where possible. Firefighters have also been told to ensure they are fit and healthy before heading out on a mission.
"With regard to a bigger protracted incident if we were required, we wouldn't do a hot changeover of vehicles in the field. Those vehicles would go back to station and we would send out fresh vehicles," Mr Scott said.
"I think we could rely on the mutual aid arrangements because that could be a one-in and one-out but when required to deploy to a base camp or accommodation that would have to be quite heavily regulated with quarantine.
"There has been some concern from volunteers that if they were to deploy to assist another jurisdiction, what would then be the quarantine arrangements on their return from a cross-border operation."
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers said the state was also developing protocols for how social distancing restrictions would apply during a bushfire.
Commissioner Rogers said there would be restrictions on the number of firefighters allowed inside trucks and at base camps.
If even a few people at a base camp were infected with the virus, the results could be disastrous, Commissioner Rogers said.
"If we've got fires that are being managed you could take out potentially hundreds of people in the need to isolate those people in case they are infectious," Commissioner Rogers said.
Politicians and local council staff would not be able to visit the camps, while people in the camps would be temperature-checked.
Commissioner Rogers also said the pandemic forced several US aviation companies to pull their resources earlier than planned.
"There was a couple of companies that decided that irrespective that they were on contract, they were withdrawing their people and assets back to North America," Commissioner Rogers said.
"Luckily there wasn't any real threats left at that point but I think that just goes to highlight the risk of the country providing all of its reliance on overseas-resourced machines."
Commissioner Rogers said the episode was one of the drivers for the state government looking to buy a large air tanker.
"There has been a number of times where the fire seasons have overlapped, we've had difficulty in getting aircraft, particularly in that early part of the season, which predominantly probably more affects Queensland and NSW, but that has been a problem for it, and I guess this is another issue where I do think that the country needs to have a self-sufficiency," Commissioner Rogers said.
The commission also heard that the ACT would have needed to draw on international firefighters if the Orroral Valley fire continued any longer.
"If the Orroral Valley fire had continued, we would have got to the point of having to request international firefighters because we know nationally we had almost exhausted access to available Australian firefighters," Commissioner Whelan said.
However this would have come at a considerable cost, Mr Scott said.
"I think off the top of my head it's around the $800 a day which when you're getting 20 or 40 firefighters it's a cost to consider as well," Mr Scott said.