Talks are due to be held on the proposed merger of fire and rescue services in East and West Sussex.
The fire services say the move could help preserve front-line services in light of government spending cuts.
They are considering two options - greater collaboration between the two services or a full merger.
The latter option would see a new fire authority created, covering West Sussex, East Sussex and the City of Brighton and Hove.
If a merger is approved, the plans would go out to public consultation and be subject to government approval.
Members of East Sussex Fire Authority are meeting on Thursday before deciding on their preferred option.
West Sussex County Council, which runs fire services in West Sussex, is due to announce its decision on 1 July.