As Sydney continues to be plagued by a lingering smoke haze, authorities have taken the drastic step to halt hazard-reduction burns to ensure the bleak conditions will have disappeared by the weekend.
On Sunday, around 40,000 runners will take part in the Sydney Marathon, with grave fears the air quality will prove problematic for participants after the city's air quality was ranked among the worst in the world on Thursday. Ben Shepherd from the Rural Fire Service reassured runners authorities were doing what they could to remove the smoke.
"We did put a pause on any new burns yesterday [and] that's been extended through today as well," he told the Today show, despite describing the burns as "imperative" in saving thousands of homes and lives. Windy conditions are also expected to help with the removal of the smoke.
It comes as millions of Aussies across the country are set to swelter through an unseasonal heatwave in the coming days, posing a huge bushfire risk. Residents living in the nation’s southeast in particular set to see potentially record-breaking, summer-like conditions.
Temperatures set to soar 15C above average in southeast
Across the region, temperatures are sitting at about four to eight degrees above the average for September, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned. But those conditions are going to heat up significantly in the coming days, with Sydneysiders in particular expected to cop the brunt of the extremes.
Marathon runners will now set off at the earlier time of 5.45am in a bid to escape the midday heat.
Along the eastern seaboard in general, conditions in the high 20s are expected to lash residents for an entire week.
Those living in the harbour city will swelter through a total of six days of above 30-degree temperatures, forecast from today and expected to carry on into this weekend and next week. They're set to peak at 36 degrees for western Sydney on Monday and won't cool down until as late as Thursday. According to the bureau, for this time of year, conditions in the mid to late 30s are a whopping 15 degrees above the national average. Inland NSW will face the brunt of the elevated temperatures.
Sydney's west is expected to see highs of 33 on both Saturday and Sunday, and absolutely sizzling conditions of 35 and 36 on Monday and Tuesday. It's prompted a warning from both weather and health officials, reminding Aussies to check on the more vulnerable members of society, including the elderly and our furry friends.
Residents in Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne have also been warned of warm conditions in each city with temperatures in the mid to high 20s. Southeast Queensland will heat up next week with Brisbane forecast to reach 33 on Thursday
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