... So that You may be kept informed

NSW: Smoke covers Sydney, firefighters ready to pull out

07 Feb 2009 9:26 AM

Sweltering summer conditions are pushing smoke from a bushfire south to Sydney .. and have put fire crews across New South Wales on high alert.

Smoke from the fire that's destroyed more than 180 hectares near Lake Macquarie .. on the New South Wales Central Coast .. is being blown into Sydney with northerly winds that have also brought hot and dry temperatures.

The fire started near Catherine Hill Bay yesterday .. and is expected to double in size before firefighters can control it .. ahead of a strong southerly change expected late Sunday night.

No homes are under threat .. but the wind's caused a number of spot fires beyond containment lines .. and traffic along the local stretch of the Pacific Highway may be affected.

About 60 firefighters are battling the blaze .. backed by waterbombing aircraft.

Health authorities are warning people to take precautions today and tomorrow as temperatures soar to the mid-30s in Sydney .. the mid-40s in the city's west .. and higher across parts of the state.

Children .. the elderly and people with respiratory illness are especially vulnerable .. and should keep cool and drink plenty of water.

There's a total fire ban in the Sydney area .. and most of New South Wales except for the northeast.

Fire crews are keeping on a eye on three fires they've controlled in the Tumut area .. about 90 kilometres west of Canberra .. which have torched a total 500 hectares of bush.

A fire that's destroyed more than 11 hundred hectares near Wyndham .. in the southeast corner of New South Wales .. is still burning out of control.

More than 60 firefighters are battling a blaze in Wybong .. northwest of Newcastle .. that threatened homes at one point and destroyed a car.