NEWS

East Coast Swelters Through Record-Breaking Heatwave

Records have tumbled across the country.

24/09/2017 12:50 PM AEST | Updated 24/09/2017 1:05 PM AEST
David Gray / Reuters
Much of Australia is in the grips of a heatwave.

Australia's east coast is sweltering through another extreme heat day on Sunday prompting warnings from fire authorities for residents to be on high alert.

Firefighters in NSW and Queensland have warned of severe bushfire conditions as the record-breaking heatwave continues over the weekend.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has issued total fire bans for eight of the state's 21 districts on Saturday, including the Sydney, Newcastle and Illawarra areas.

RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said the threat from fires was heightened due to strong winds and very high temperatures.

"We had more than 95 (fires) today and we still have 80 at the moment, 15 are not contained," Rogers told the ABC.

"We are quite concerned. At the end of today, conditions will ease somewhat and contract further to the north but we are expecting a return to warm weather mid next week. All fires are on an advice level."

The RFS says that the fire risk is currently especially high because of a lack of rain since June, which has resulted in a build up of dry fuel across much of the state.

In Sydney, it's forecast to reach 33 degrees while Brisbane is forecast for a maximum of 32 degrees. Darwin is on track for a sweltering 33 degrees.

BoM duty forecaster Mohammed Nabi said the heat was being pushed across from the middle of Australia.

"The set-up we've got is a large high pressure in the Tasman Sea and a cold front approaching from the south-west," Nabi is quoted as saying.

"That is going to turn all the winds north-westerly over much of New South Wales."

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