Fire risk rises as heatwave sweeps south-east

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South-east Australia is going to swelter for days over an incoming heatwave, with temperatures set to rise from today.

Miriam Bradbury from the Bureau of Meteorology told Today that temperatures were currently sitting at four to eight degrees above average across the region.

"But across the weekend, especially going into early next week, those temperatures are going to push 10, 15 degrees above average, particularly across inland NSW," she said.

"Now, to put this into context, that means widespread temperatures in the high 20s at least."

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Sydney sunrise heatwave


Sydney is going to get especially warm, with six days of more than 30-degree temperatures forecast from today, continuing through the weekend and into next week.

Predictions are for 33 degrees on Saturday and Sunday, and up to 35 or 36 degrees on Monday and Tuesday.

"We are expecting a cooler change to move through around mid next week. So likely we won't feel the cool weather return until around Thursday," Bradbury said.

The heat will be so strong that firefighters have been forced to stop hazard reduction burns around the city.

The burns have sent heavy smoke to linger over Sydney all week, but it's hoped that will clear somewhat in the coming days.

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With 42,000 people registered for the Sydney Marathon on Sunday, authorities have reassured people that the air will be clean.

"We did put a pause on any new burns yesterday," Ben Shepherd from the Rural Fire Service told Today this morning.

"That's been extended through today as well."

He said strong winds should drive the remaining smoke out of Sydney tomorrow, and he thanked the community for its patience during the crucial work.

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"Over the past week, thousands of homes have been protected," he said.

"Thousands of lives potentially protected, and as we move into next week, we're likely to see high fire danger, if not extreme fire danger and we may see some total fire bans so it was really good to get that work in."

But even with the prescribed burns paused, there is an elevated risk of bushfires due to the incoming heat.

People have been urged to keep indoors and stay hydrated when the heat is at its peak.

Shepherd also urged people in vulnerable areas to consider their bushfire action plan.

The state government's heatwave health advice can be found online here.