Smoke haze blankets Sydney as bushfire threat rises

Sydney Pollution'Hazardous, Comparable To Delhi Amid Bushfire Threat

Sydney Pollution "Hazardous", Comparable To Delhi, Amid Bushfire Threat

Authorities said the source of the smoke on Tuesday came from a blaze in Wollemi National Park, 150km (93 miles) north-west of the city, which had grown to 150,000 hectares in size. Many of those areas have experienced poor air quality for weeks.

A southerly of between 30 and 50 km/h is predicted to arrive in Sydney at around 5pm on Tuesday afternoon which could help improve the air quality across the Sydney basin.

A poor air quality warning is in place, with people suffering from respiratory issues urged to keep their medication with them at all times.

NSW Health says those with conditions such as asthma, emphysema and angina are particularly sensitive to the effects of smoke.

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Sydney was shrouded in risky haze Tuesday as smoke from bushfires blazing along Australia's eastern seaboard sent pollution levels soaring in the country's biggest city.

Strong winds overnight brought smoke from fires inland, pushing the air quality in Australia's largest city to beyond "hazardous" levels.

New South Wales faces two "tough days" this week with temperatures likely to rise to the 40s towards the end of the week and no rainfall forecast.

Tuesday and Thursday will be "tough days" for NSW, Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers has warned.

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"Following weeks of hard bushfire conditions and last week's 'catastrophic" warnings, Mr Fitzsimmons said it was crucial people didn't take anything for granted.

Parts of the state are under severe fire danger today including Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Southern Ranges and Central Ranges fire regions.

Some 1.6m hectares of land have been burnt so far - more than the entire 1993-94 bushfire season.

NSW RFS said firefighters were working desperately to strengthen containment lines, with temperatures across the east coast set to soar for much of the week.

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A DC10 air tanker has been drafted in from North America to help drop up to 38,000 litres of water and retardant on blazes and efforts will be bolstered by help from New Zealand firefighters, Mr Elliott said.

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