Port Macquarie residents prepare for worst
The smoke in Port Macquarie is so thick you can "easily taste it", says 15-year-old high school student Patrick Rudd.The 15-year-old's high school - Hastings Secondary College - was the last in the NSW mid-north coast town to close on Monday, reduced to minimal supervision as the state's bushfire crisis continued.
A thick blanket of smoke has choked Sydney on Tuesday morning as high temperatures and dry winds prompt total fire bans in regions facing severe fire danger.
Air quality has plummeted to "hazardous" levels in Sydney's north-west, with fine particles in some suburbs rising from 200 to more than 300 on the air quality index – where "good" air quality is rated below 66.
In parts of the city's east and south-west, particle pollution is causing "poor" to "very poor" air quality.
In areas where particle pollution is "very poor", people with heart or lung disease are advised to reduce exercising outdoors. Where it's "hazardous", everyone, especially people with heart or lung disease, should avoid outdoor exertion and stay inside as much as possible.
Hot winds to whip up Qld fire danger
The weather bureau warns conditions will continue to deteriorate in Queensland as extremely hot air is pushed across the state on Friday and into the weekend. "The story is one of very high fire dangers or severe fire danger ratings for the next three days," BOM forecaster Richard Wardell told AAP.Pictures: Bushfires rage across NSW Severe isolated storms cells have also been forecast to potentially bring dry lightning which could ignite more bushfires.Coastal areas can also expect a low-intensity heatwave.
The smoke has blown over the city from the Gospers Mountain fire that has burnt almost 140,000 hectares in the Wollemi and Yengo national parks since it started last week.
There are total fire bans in place for the Greater Sydney, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Greater Hunter, Central Ranges, Southern Ranges, Northern Slopes and North Western regions on Tuesday with "severe" fire danger amid a forecast of hot, dry and windy weather.
Sydney is set to reach a high of 32 in the city, and up to 39 in the west.
Hazardous air quality as NSW fires burn on .
More than 50 bushfires are still burning across NSW, with widespread very high fire danger and hazy Sydney conditions set to stay. While there are no total fire bans in place for Friday the Rural Fire Service NSW says warm weather is set to continue, with nine regions - including the ACT and entire northern coast - at "very high" fire danger. Greater Sydney is at "high" fire danger but is also grappling with heavy smoke blanketing the city from the nearby Gospers Mountain fire in the Hawkesbury, which has burned through more than 170,000 hectares.